The Plastics Waste Management Rules in India as amended 2024. Some frequently asked questions

The Plastics Waste Management Rules in India as amended 2024. Some frequently asked questions

The Plastics Waste Management Rules were notified in 2016 (G.S.R. 320 E dated 18/03/2016) and have been amended in 2018 (G.S.R. 320 E dated 27/03/2018); 2021 (G.S.R. 571 E dated 12/08/2021); 2022 (G.S.R. 133 E dated 16/02/2022); 2022 (G.S.R. 522 E dated 06/07/2022); and 2024 (G.S.R. 201 E dated 14/03/2024).

I have gone through the rules and tried to find answers to some questions which I felt were important from the point of view of stakeholder industries. A list of those questions is being given below with a link to their answers as I see them. I hope they are found of use.

I have also during the course, noticed that some issues need to be clarified for a better understanding and implementation. ‘Producers’ as defined in the rules have a great responsibility towards plastic waste management. Earlier the term included industries using plastic packaging for packing of their goods. Many industries which were not manufacturers or brand owners or importers were covered under the rules by virtue of being ‘Producers’ because they used plastic packaging for packing their products. The rules have been amended in 2024 and the provisions relating to ‘Industries using plastic packaging waste for packing goods’ does not find reference in the amended definition of ‘Producer’ Under these circumstances it has to be clarified from the CPCB whether those industries which are not covered as Manufacturers, Brand owners or importers classify as ‘producer’, if they are just using plastic packaging for packing and how do the rules apply to such industries. There is a provision which does say that the definitions given in the rules of 2016 apply until specifically mentioned in the guidelines. The definition of ‘Producer’ in the guidelines (2022 amendment) is drastically different from the definition as given in the 2024 amendment. Why is it so being not clear.

Sugar mills are an example as they may not be importing plastic packaging for commercial purposes and may not be a brand owner (Hardly 1% of the Sugar is sold branded in India). They may also not be producers as defined in 2024. Under these circumstances it may need to be understood as to how the Sugar Industry is attracted to provision of the PWM Rules.

Similarly in terms of defining ‘Plastic Waste Processors’ the Ministry uses two definitions. While on one hand it includes entities using plastic wastes for Energy, oil or composting yet it also points out that a Waste Processor would include ‘Recyclers and all other Waste Processors’. This may also need clarification.

Questions (Click the link on the question for the answer)

  1. What are the conditions that regulate the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of carry bags, plastic sheets or like or covers made of plastic sheet and multilayered packaging?
  2. What are the responsibilities of the Waste Generator?
  3. Who are manufacturers, producers, brand owners and importers as defined in the Rules?
  4. What are the Responsibilities of Producer, importers and brand owners?
  5. What is the provision for registration of Producers, recyclers, manufacturers, importers and Brand owners?
  6. Who has to submit Annual Reports?
  7. What is Schedule II to the Plastic Waste Management Rules and which entities are covered under the Extended Producer Responsibility obligation under the guidelines in Schedule II of the P.W.M. Rules 2010/18 as amended?
  8. What are the guidelines for Extended Producer Responsibility under the Plastic Waste Management Rules?
  9. Which plastic packaging categories are covered under the Extended Producer Responsibility?
  10. What is end of life disposal of plastic waste?
  11. Which entities have to seek registration under the Extended Producer responsibility obligations?
  12. What are the requirements for registration under the E.P.R. guidelines of 2022?
  13. What are the Targets for extended Producer responsibility and the obligations of Producers, Importers and brand owners?
  14. What are the provisions related to Surplus Extended Producer Responsibility Certificates generated during fulfilment of E.P.R. targets?
  15. What are the provisions of Environmental Compensation for noncompliance of Extended Producer Responsibility targets by PIBO’s?
  16. What is the Role of Producers, Importers and Brand owners, Manufacturers, and manufacturers of commodities made from compostable or biodegradable plastics, under the Extended Producers Responsibility guidelines of 2022?
  17. Who are plastic waste processors and what is their role under the plastic waste management rules of 2016 as amended?
  18. Can Producer Importers and Brand Owners develop their own Plastic Waste Collection Systems?
  19. What are the provisions related to E.P.R. Certificates in the fulfilment of E.P.R. obligations?

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