While walking around, have you ever seen a pile of garbage along the road? Have you ever seen plastics floating on water bodies? Answer will come ‘Yes, many times’. According to CPCB’s (Central Pollution Control Board) estimate from 2012, India generates closely 26,000 tonnes of plastic a day. Worse, a little over 10,000 tonnes a day of plastic waste remains uncollected. This uncollected waste pollute our environment.
To overcome this problem, Government of India introduced Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016. Later its amendment was introduced in 2018. Mainly the rules are for bringing a sense of responsibility at every level of people involved in the cycle.
As per Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 :
- Carry bags and plastic packages must be of thickness greater than 50 microns with pigments favourable to food stuffs. But there is no restriction on the thickness of compostable plastic carry bags. Recycled carry bags will not be used for food packaging. Gutkha, tobacco, pan masala will not be sold in plastic packings.
- Local bodies both in urban and rural areas will ensure segregation, collection, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of plastic waste. They will channelise the recyclable plastic waste to recyclers, promote the use of non-recyclable plastic waste in construction of roads, production of energy and oil and dispose off the thermoset plastic waste without effecting the environment. They should also take care of no open burning of plastics. They will engage civil bodies and groups to help the waste pickers. They will develop the infrastructure for segregation of waste.
- To minimize waste, responsibility is also given to people at source level. Each individual will reduce generation of plastic waste, segregate waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable and hand over segregated waste to waste pickers. Institutional generators too will segregate waste and then hand over to waste pickers. All waste generators have to pay a user fee or charge as per the guidelines of local authorities for waste management. Even the event organizers have to manage the waste produced during the events like marriages, functions etc.
- Producers will collect back plastic waste generated due to their product as per ‘Extended Producers Responsibility’. They can collect through their own distribution channel or the local authority concerned. Producers will sell raw materials to only registered manufacturers. They should have data of manufacturer.
- There should be a label on every recycled carry bag and multi layer packages. The label will give information of name and registration number of the manufacturer. The thickness is also added in case of carry bags. Each carry bag will also bear its type like recycled or compostable.
- To minimize use of carry bags, shop keepers and street vendors play a great role. Only the registered street vendors and shop keepers will be allowed to dispose things through carry bags. They have to pay the plastic waste management fees during their registration. Customers will pay for the carry bags which will be used in sustainability of the waste management system.
It has been about 4 years from notification of these rules. But the rules have not been implemented in all places yet. Because many of us don’t know effect of plastic and about waste management rules. And who know why we don’t take it seriously.
We all should learn about consequences of plastic wastes and our responsibilities. Not only we learn but also educate others. Remember, each plastic you use, you are responsible for it. As a citizen we should obey the rules and question local authority about the implementation of these rules. Wherever you find disobedience of these rules, question the authority. There is a need of modification in these rules. Before that notified rules should be implemented properly.