New Plastic Waste Rules in India
These Rules replace the previous Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 and are applicable to every waste generator, recycler, manufacturers, importers and producers distributers, sellers and users of plastic bags, plastic sheets or like or covers made of plastic sheets and multilayered packaging.
In order to protect public health and the environment, on 18 March 2016 the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) issued the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 via G.S.R 320 (E). These Rules replace the previous Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 and are applicable to every waste generator, recycler, manufacturers, importers and producers distributers, sellers and users of plastic bags, plastic sheets or like or covers made of plastic sheets and multilayered packaging.
Registration of producers, recyclers and manufacturers
Every producer, manufacturer and recycler of plastic carry bags or recycled plastic bags or multilayered packaging must obtain a certificate of registration from the State Pollution Control Board or the Pollution Control Committee of the Union Territory concerned, as the case may be, prior to the commencement of production. Every application for renewal of registration must be made at least 120 days before the expiry of the validity of the registration certificate.
Requirements for the producers, importers and brand owners
The existing producers, within a period of six months effective from 18 March 2016, must figure out modalities for waste collection systems based on Extended Producers Responsibility and involving State Urban Development Departments, either individually or collectively, through their own distribution channel or through the local body concerned.
- Collection of used multi-layered plastic sachets or pouches or packaging is the primary responsibility of Producers, Importers and Brand Owners. A system for collecting waste generated from their product must be established and a plan for such system must be submitted to the State Pollution Control Boards while applying for Consent to Establish or Operate or Renewal.
- Manufacture and use of non-recyclable multilayered plastic must be phased out in two years’ time.
- The existing producer within a period of three months effective from 18 March 2016, must submit an application to the Pollution Control Board or the Pollution Control Committee, as the case may be, of the States or the Union Territories administration concerned, for grant of registration.
- No producer on and after the expiry of a period of six months from 18 March 2016 must manufacture or use any plastic or multilayered packaging for packaging of commodities without registration from the concerned State Pollution Control Board or the Pollution Control Committees.
- Every producer must maintain a record of details of the person engaged in the supply of plastic used as raw material to manufacture carry bags or plastic sheets or like or covers made of plastic sheets or multilayered packaging.
Requirements for the waste generator
- Measures must be taken to minimize generation of plastic waste. Segregation of plastic waste at source in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000 must be done. Segregated waste must be handover to urban local body or gram panchayat or agencies appointed by them or registered waste pickers’, registered recyclers or waste collection agencies.
- All institutional generators of plastic waste must segregate and store the waste generated by them in accordance with the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 and must handover segregated wastes to authorized waste processing or disposal facilities or deposition centers either on its own or through the authorized waste collection agency.
Any company involved in recycling or processing of plastic waste must submit an annual report in Form IV to the local body concerned under intimation to the concerned State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee by the 30th of April, every year.
Marking or labelling
Plastic carry bag and multilayered packaging must have the following information printed in English:
- name, registration number of the manufacturer and thickness in case of carry bag;
- name and registration number of the manufacturer in case of multilayered packaging; and
- name and certificate number [Rule 4(h)] in case of carry bags made from compostable plastic.
Recycled carry bag must bear a label or a mark “recycled” to conform to the Indian Standard: IS 14534: 1998 titled as “Guidelines for Recycling of Plastic. Additionally, each carry bag made from compostable plastics must bear a label “compostable” and shall conform to the Indian Standard: IS or ISO 17088:2008 titled as Specifications for “Compostable Plastics”.
The manufacture, importer stocking, distribution, sale and use of carry bags, plastic sheets or like, or cover made of plastic sheet and multilayered packaging, must be subject to the following conditions (These rules do not apply to the export-oriented units or units in special economic zones, notified by the Central Government, manufacturing their products against an order for export.):
- Carry bags and plastic packaging must either be in a natural shade which is without any added pigments or made using only pigments and colourants which are in conformity with Indian Standard : IS 9833:1981 titled “List of pigments and colourants for use in plastics in contact with foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and drinking water”;
- Carry bags made of recycled plastic or products made of recycled plastic must not be used for storing, carrying, dispensing or packaging ready-to-eat-or-drink food stuff;
- Carry bag made of virgin or recycled plastic, must not be less than fifty microns in thickness;
- Plastic sheet or like, which is not an integral part of multilayered packaging and cover made of plastic sheet used for packaging, wrapping the commodity must not be less than fifty microns in thickness except where the thickness of such plastic sheets impair the functionality of the product;
- The manufacturer must not sell or provide or arrange plastic to be used as raw material to a producer, not having valid registration from the concerned State Pollution Control Boards or Pollution Control Committee;
- Recycling of plastic waste must conform to the Indian Standard: IS 14534:1998 titled as Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics, as amended from time to time;
- The provision of thickness must not be applicable to carry bags made up of compostable plastic. Carry bags made from compostable plastics must conform to the Indian Standard: IS 17088:2008 titled as Specifications for Compostable Plastics, as amended from time to time.
- The manufacturers or seller of compostable plastic carry bags must obtain a certificate from the Central Pollution Control Board before marketing or selling; and
- Plastic material, in any form including vinyl acetate – maleic acid – vinyl chloride copolymer, must not be used in any package for packaging gutkha, pan masala and tobacco in all forms.
Definition and applicability
- “Institutional waste generator”: occupier of the institutional buildings such as building occupied by Central Government Departments, State Government Departments, public or private sector companies, hospitals, schools, colleges, universities or other places of education, organization, academy, hotels, restaurants, malls and shopping complexes.
- “Producer”: persons engaged in manufacture or import of carry bags or multilayered packaging or plastic sheets or like, and includes industries or individuals using plastic sheets or like or covers made of plastic sheets or multilayered packaging for packaging or wrapping the commodity.
- “Manufacturer”: a person or unit or agency engaged in production of plastic raw material to be used as raw material by the producer.
- “Importer”: a person who imports or intends to import and holds an Importer-Exporter Code number, unless otherwise specifically exempted.
- “Multilayered packaging”: any material used or to be used for packaging and having at least one layer of plastic as the main ingredients in combination with one or more layers of materials such as paper, paper board, polymeric materials, metalised layers or aluminium foil, either in the form of a laminate or co-extruded structure.
- “Extended producer’s responsibility”: the responsibility of a producer for the environmentally-sound management of the product until the end of its life.
- “Plastic”: material which contains as an essential ingredient a high polymer such as polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, vinyl, low-density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene resins, multi-materials like acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyphenylene oxide, polycarbonate, Polybutylene terephthalate.
- “Carry bags”: bags made from plastic material or compostable plastic material, used for the purpose of carrying or dispensing commodities which have a self-carrying feature but do not include bags that constitute or form an integral part of the packaging in which goods are sealed prior to use.
- “Plastic sheet”: a sheet made of plastic.
- “Plastic waste“: any plastic discarded after use or after their intended use is over.