According to the rules of Plastic waste management, steps have been taken to decrease the generation and use of plastic waste and ensure the segregated storage of plastic waste at source. Responsibilities had been assigned to local bodies, gram panchayats, retailers, and vendors for management of plastic waste. The rules mandate some new provisions like Extended Producers Responsibility.
Responsibilities of producers, Importers, and Owners of brands:
- Producers are required to work out modalities for the collection of waste according to the extended producer’s responsibility, involving State Urban Development Departments within six months from the date of publication of the rules.
- Responsibility of collection of sachets and pouches made of plastic is the responsibility of producers and brand owners who have introduced the product in the market. They are required to establish a system for the collection of plastic waste generated because of their goods. This plan is to be submitted to the State Pollution Control Boards.
- Manufacturing and use of plastic that is multi-layered which cannot be recycled or with no other use should be excluded and stopped within two years.
- Within three months from the date of publication, the producers are required to apply to the Pollution Control Board or the committee of their states or union territories for permission of registration.
- No producer should, after six months from the date of publication, manufacture or use any multi-layered packaging for packing their goods without proper registration from the State Pollution Control Board or committee.
- All the producers should be responsible for maintaining a record of details of anybody engaged in the supply of Plastic that is used as a raw material or used for manufacturing carry bags or multi-layered packaging.
A committee constituted for evaluation of the implementation of the rules of Plastic waste management, 2016 has worked out models for a uniform framework for the Extended producer Responsibility and has been circulated to stakeholders during the Regional Workshop conducted by this ministry and CII in Bangalore, Ranchi, and Chandigarh. The committee noted that the responsibility of waste collection and it’s segregation entirely depends upon the ULBs and handing this responsibility over to producers would be ineffective. The committee further suggested that a fee-based system should be made based on the quantum of production of plastic by these producers. This fee would get accumulated in a fund that will later be used for plastic waste management and it’s functions. It was later decided that apart from this fee-based model, the PRO-based model will also become an aspect of the implementation of EPR.
Uniform Framework on EPR
This Framework is based on the fact that producers are responsible for providing financial incentives to the Plastic waste collection systems, it’s processing and recycling and to meet other targets set by the Government. The uniform Framework of EPR shall be based on the creation of national registration and database with the help of which all the registration of stakeholders will be done online. These stakeholders will be required to update the requested information from time to time for efficient functioning. All transactions under the EPR will thus be governed through the web portal and will help in the online registration of stakeholders all over the country.
Extended producer’s responsibility
For quick and easy implementation and participation of every town and producer of the country, the framework document suggests different models. Model 1 suggests that in order to have proper implementation of EPR through the fee-based model, the framework must address three issues- one with the ULB, another with the plastic assembler, recycler, and rag pickers, and the third is the IEC activities. The proposals of the ULBs like a house to house segregation and collection of waste, equipment for rag pickers, and their registration, etc will be made compulsory for management of plastic. Funds can be allocated by SLABs to the SPCB and other agencies for IEC activities. Model 2 (PRO-based) suggests the objective to be established is a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) to lead the implementation and secure funding required on behalf of the producers to show support for recycling Plastic and at the same time promote ease of doing business for all stakeholders.
There shall be a Certifying agency who will certify all the quantity of waste recycled or disposed of by the recycler and what type of recycling would be eligible for funding will be based on the certificate issued by the certifying agency. The EPR framework is based on forces of the market and the CPCB’s job shall be to ensure transparency and compliance. However, the funding of EPR systems is left to the Government. For the execution of the framework successfully, the provision of accurate and timely data is required giving the chance to every stakeholder to keep a check on the system and the national registry mentioned above shall be used for the maintenance of the database. An efficient mechanism must be developed for the functioning of the entire waste value chain and through which the traceability can be ensured because there is a high risk of fake bills and recycling certificates for generating plastic credits. It shall be the responsibility of the PRO to ensure the flow of material from the waste collectors to the recyclers. A platform shall be made by the state government to involve stakeholders from every city, preferably on a cloud-based platform. The citizens would access apps for requesting services, giving feedback, and make digital payments. Waste collectors will also get registered in the system and get their ID cards authenticated by local bodies, call centers can be established for sharing feedback and grievances.