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Why did the Environment Ministry notify the Plastic Waste Rules 2018?

Environment Ministry made EPR registration mandatory under the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2018

Why regularising plastic waste is important

  • Regularising plastic waste is important for environmental, economic, and health reasons. Plastic waste pollutes the environment, harms wildlife, and contaminates food and water. 
  • Regularising plastic waste can help to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated, increase recycling rates, and create jobs.
  • The Government of India has notified the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and further amended in 2018 which focus on reducing, reusing, and recycling plastic waste.
  • The plastic waste management rules 2018 were created based on the polluter-pay principle. This means that those who produce plastic waste are responsible for its disposal costs.
  • These rules mandate producers, Brand owners, and importers to get the EPR registration with CPCB.
  • EPR certificate is a responsibility for PIBO (Producers, Brand owners, and importers) to collect the plastic that is generated from their products and send the waste to plastic waste recyclers. 

Who needs to obtain an EPR certificate under the 2018 Plastic Waste Management Rules?

  • All waste generator entities mean any residential, commercial, industrial, institutional establishments have to obtain an epr registration from CPCB under the plastic waste management 2018.
  • Indian Railways, Airport, Port and Harbour and Defence units
  • Municipal corporation, Nagar Nigam, Nagar palika, Urban Development Authority, Gram Panchayat
  • Manufacturers, Producers, Brand owners, and Importers are required to get the Plastic waste epr registration from the Pollution Control Board.
  • The Ministry of Environment & Forest has defined a procedure to get the plastic waste registration license for each entity. We will talk about every segment in detail.

How to obtain the Plastic waste EPR license for the Manufactures from the Pollution Board?

  • Let’s first understand who is a manufacturer in terms of plastic waste management rules 2018. When we talk about the Manufactures it means any set-up or entity that is engaged in the production of plastic raw materials that is to be consumed as raw material by the Producers.
  • Every manufacturing entity carrying bags, recycling plastic bags and MLP (multi-layered packaging) is mandatory to get registered with the State Pollution Control Board before the commencement of the production.
  • It is a very clear fact that the State Pollution Control Board does not issue the epr registration certificate if the unit does not possess a valid Pollution License under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (6 of 1974) and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 (14 of 1981)

What is the procedure to obtain the EPR certificate for plastic waste?

  • The EPR registration certificate will apply to all producers, importers and brand owners of the plastic who are using it in any form in their products and these products are going into the market.  
  • Let’s first understand who is a producer in terms of plastic waste management rules 2018. A producer is a manufacturer of the plastic who is either importing carry bags or Plastic sheets or multi-layered packaging and any plastic sheet to wrap a commodity.  
  • An importer is a person or entity who imports the plastic material and has a valid IEC code.
  • A brand owner is a company or entity or person who is selling its products under his registered brand name. These three PIBO categories any industry falls in has to approach the Central Pollution Control if the company operates in more than two states. And if the company operation is in one to two states only then it has to get registered with the State Pollution Control Board.
  • PIBO organizations before approaching the State Pollution Control Board or CPCB have to ensure to have a full mechanism to collect the waste that has been gone into the market by their products. They may incentivise the local vendors or dealers if they are capable of collecting the plastic waste from the end-users and channelise the waste to the plastic waste recycling agencies.
  • PIBO organisations may have their tie-ups with the plastic waste recycling companies that can have the facilities on their own to manage the waste.
  • PIBO organisations have to have the EPR plan ready and implement it once it is registered with the CPCB or SPCB.

Is EPR registration a responsibility for PIBO organisations (Producers, Importers and Brand Owners) or a liability to obtain?

  • When we talk about responsibility, it means duty or an obligation to be held accountable if something goes wrong. Now let’s discuss as far as plastic waste is concerned, the plastic made material used by the producers, importers and brand owners in any form are going directly and indirectly into the market. It may be by wrapping the commodity, or selling and promoting its plastic products.
  • These management rules are based on the polluter pay principle where an entity that generates the waste has the prime responsibility to pay the price ultimately. 
  • The same principle applies herein as well. PIBO organisations are introducing plastic waste into the environment, and are held primarily responsible to collect the waste and channelise it to the waste recyclers, therefore, using the recycled waste into their plant operations as far as possible. 
  • Whoever agency is supplying the plastic as raw material for the manufacturing of carrying bags or plastic sheets to PIBO entities have to maintain the records of similar parties. 
  • Non-recyclable and Non-energy recoverable MLP which has no alternate use has to be phased out in the due course of time.
  • PIBO companies are obliged to procure the EPR certificate from the State Pollution Control Board and Central Pollution Control Board.

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