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Changes to Plastic Waste Management rules in India

Changes to Plastic Waste Management rules in India

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by Howard Stimpson, July 2019
Howard is Operations Director at Thinkstep Compliance Ltd. and has over 15 years experience providing product compliance services to companies all over the world.
The 2016 Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules require producers to individually or collectively provide for take-back and recycling of plastic waste under the guise of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). 

The Indian Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recently removed formal ‘recognition’ of all packaging Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs) created under the 2016 Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules. The CPCB cites that recognition is no longer required as awareness levels of EPR principles within industry can now be considered as sufficient.

This development means that whilst producers can now agree individual contractual terms with a PRO for waste plastic collection and recycling, it does introduce greater uncertainty about waste plastic packaging producer obligations and options for compliance in India.

Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules and producer non-compliance

Every producer or brand-owner that operates in more than two States or Union Territories has to apply for registration with the CPCB. All others register with the State Pollution Control Boards.

As part of its enforcement activities, the CPCB has served notice on 52 companies,  including Amazon, Carlsberg, Tetra Pak, Flipkart and Danone Foods and Beverages for failing to register through the online portal as a producer under PWM Rules and not specifying a timeline or a plan to collect the plastic waste that results from their business activities under PWM Rules.

"Failing to (comply) would invite action against the defaulters,” the notice warned. This action can include fines or imprisonment under provisions of the Indian Environment Protection Act.

The Ministry of Environment is considering publishing new EPR Guidelines which will hopefully provide more certainty on these and other issues arising from the PWM Rules.

How EC4P can help?

We offer a global update service which monitors changes to EPR laws across the world for Packaging, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and Batteries and notifies you when these changes come into force. As part of our compliance services, we can assess whether you are required to take action under newly implemented laws. We can also identify the best solutions to ensure compliance to the regulations and manage these on your behalf. For more information about our services please contact us