Know About Plastic Waste Management Rules In Details
Do you know that there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish by the end of 2050? According to the report of the United Nations Environment Programme 2006, there are 46,000 plastic pieces in every square mile in the ocean. Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest plastic made island on earth. Even in India, we generate almost 10 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. But only 60% of the waste is collected by the waste pickers. The rest of the 40% has remained uncollected.
We focus more on plastic generation than the plastic recycling process. Human life has become plasticized. We regularly intake approximately 5 grams of microplastics every week through our daily diet. Air, water, food, soil everything is contaminated with microplastic particles. Biodiversity is hugely affected by plastic pollution. 90% of the seabirds and fish have consumed plastics on their stomachs. 3 billion people are directly or indirectly dependent on oceans for their livelihood. 13 billion dollars of the Indian economy is afflicted on an average every year.
Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016
Indian Govt has started to take legislative actions to follow up the number of plastic products through the generation process, waste segregation techniques, awareness programs, etc. They have introduced Plastic Waste Management Rules in 2016 to control e-waste and plastic waste altogether. According to this rule,
1) The minimum thickness of plastic carry bags should not be less than 50 microns. The more the thickness, the lesser the chances to split the plastic material into smaller fractions.
2) Plastic pollution is not only an urban problem. The rural area is equally responsible for taking necessary actions on waste management. Gram panchayats should also maintain the rules and regulations on the very ground level.
3) The most important part is EPR collect back system. EPR means Extended Producer Responsibility. It is the responsibility of each producer to collect the plastic materials they produce and recycle the waste as soon as possible.
Suppose, you drink a bottle of cold drink and throw the empty bottle in the dustbin. It is the responsibility of the cold drink producer and manufacturing company to collect the bottle from the trash and recycle it.
4) Govt. has taken the initiative to charge a plastic waste management fee on producers, vendors and importers. Only the producers, importers, vendors can generate plastic those registered and consistently paying the chargeable fee.
5) Govt. has advised using plastic debris in making roads. Recently, the Reliance company has made the longest road in North-East India.
Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2018
Just after two years, the Indian Govt. has added two more waste management rules-
1) Phasing out of MLP (Multi-Layer Plastics) that mainly used for packaging purposes by fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies.
2) Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has implemented Central Registration System for all brand owners, producers, and importers all over India.
Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2021
On 12th August 2021, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change has amended waste management rules. This year, the main focus of attention is to prohibit SUP (Single-Use Plastic) items.
1) The thickness of plastic carrier bags increased from 50 microns to 75 microns with effect from 30th September 2021 and it will again increase from 75 microns to 120 microns with effect from 31st December 2021.
2) Prohibition on manufacturing, importing, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of single-use plastic by 1st July 2022.
3) The limit of non-woven plastic bags would be 60 GSM (Gram per Square Metre).
4) Govt. has implemented a special task force to monitor the producers, importers, and brand owners that not registered themselves with Central Registration System.
5) No prohibition will apply to the commodities made of compostable plastics.
EPR is a very noble task and the Indian Govt. should take strong steps for proper implementation. The Govt. is facing many challenges such as-
1) The EPR guidelines only targeted to the formal sectors. local vendors, mandi shop owners are other prime reasons to focussed on. EPR rules should be applicable to all kinds of formal and informal sectors.
2) The Govt should start new preventive policies to encourage individuals. As an example, there are reverse vending machines in every metro station in Istanbul. That offers subway credit in exchange for used plastic bottles and cans. Indian Govt would sow seeds of the ‘Rewards & Punishment’ plan for citizens, then it would award us with positive outcomes.
The producers, manufacturers, importers, brand owners should also encouraged to share the responsibilities towards plastic pollution. Ecoex, India’s first digital platform has taken an initiative to gather. The registered recyclers, producers, manufacturers, and importers all over India under one roof. Here, they can sell and purchase MLP and Non-MLP plastic through online trading auctions. The buyers and sellers experience the benefits of plastic credit through the platform. The vast network of Ecoex is giving an opportunity to follow EPR obligations under Plastic Waste Management Rules.
As an individual, it is also our duty to curb the use of plastic and look for other alternatives. Because, at the end of the day, we all want to create a healthy ecosystem for our future days.