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Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

Why in news?

  • The draft Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2021, issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on March 11, has necessitated a few changes in the country’s handling of its plastic waste.
  • In a bid to make India free of single-use plastic by 2022, the Environment Ministry, proposed a three-phase ban on list of items.Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

2021 Rules To Manage Plastic Waste In India

  • The Union ministry has proposed increasing the thickness of carry bags made of virgin plastic to 120 microns from 50 microns.
  • It proposes a ban on the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of specific single-use plastic from January 1, 2022.
  • These include plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, and thermocol (extended polystyrene) for decoration.
  • The draft is open for public suggestion for 60 days for consideration by the central government, following which it will be published in the Gazette of India.
  • These rules may be called Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021, and shall come into force on the date of publication in the Official Gazette.
  • It will also include new definitions of:
    • Non-woven plastic bag
    • Plastic waste processing
    • Single-use plastic (SUP) item
    • Thermoset plastic
    • Thermoplastic
  • Single-use plastic has been defined as ‘plastic commodity intended for one-time use before being disposed of or recycled.’ Many state governments have imposed a partial or complete ban on single-use plastic items earlier.
    The rules will be implemented by waste generators, local bodies, Gram Panchayats, manufacturers, importers etc. Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

Implementation of the draft | Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

The draft is proposed to be implemented in three stages starting this year and culminating in mid-2022. Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

Stage I

  • The first set of rules propose that each sheet of non-woven plastic carry bag shall not be less than 60 (GSM per square metre) or 240 microns in thickness. A carry bag made of virgin or recycled plastic shall not be less than 120 microns, with effect from the same date. Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

Stage II

  • The second stage will come into effect when six categories of single-use plastic — earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration — will be banned for sale, use, manufacture, stocking, import and distribution.

Stage III

  • In the third stage, the list of banned items will grow to include single-use plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping/packing films around sweet boxes; invitation cards; cigarette packets, plastic/PVC banners less than 100 micron and stirrers.

Local bodies and state pollution control boards will ensure the implementation and enforcement of these rules. Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

Plastic waste in india | Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

  • India currently generates around 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day and over 10,000 tonnes of which is not collected.
  • India’s per capita plastic consumption of less than 11 kg, is nearly a tenth of the United States of America (109 kg).
  • For India, bringing plastic waste back into the supply chain could bring annual benefits of Rs.40 lakh crore in 2050. Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

Way Forward | Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

  • Government has to look into it with a very holistic perspective while forming policies to take all aspects into consideration and ensure strict implementation of regulations.
  • Economically affordable and ecologically viable alternatives which will not burden the resources are needed and their prices will also come down with time and increase in demand.
  • Managing plastic waste requires effective knowledge, not only among those who produce the plastic, but also among those who handle it.
  • Brand owners, consumers, recyclers and regulatory authorities need to take long strides in ensuring that we first inventorise the total amount of plastic waste that we generate by means of proper calculations.
  • Citizens have to bring behavioural change and contribute by not littering and helping in waste segregation and waste management. Everybody, by doing their bit, can ensure elimination of single use plastic. Draft Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021

 

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