In Plastic Waste Management Rules (PWMR) 2016 responsibility of plastic waste is given to their Producers, Importers and Brand owners under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Amendment of PWMR 2016 was notified in 2018. Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) was first introduced in this amendment under EPR in India.
According to EPR a manufacture will dispose their plastic products upon end of their life. But manufacture can give this responsibility to an authorized PRO and support PRO financially. PROs help producers in achieving their EPR targets. It is a sustainable business practice.
Jobs of PROs:
- They make EPR plans for producers and achieve EPR targets of producers.
- They collect waste from door to door with the help of informal sector like waste pickers, rag pickers and kabadi wala. and pay them for their work. They must have a coordination with urban local bodies.
- They recycle recyclable plastics or supply to the certified recycler and supply non-recyclable plastic waste like multi-layer packaging to waste to energy factory, waste to fuel factory, cement kilns.
- They create social awareness about segregation of plastic wastes. They train rag pickers about waste collection, segregation.
PROs must be experienced in waste management. PROs are registered from CPCB.
Some PROs in India:
- Indian Pollution Control Association (IPCA)
- GEM Enviro Management
- NEPRA Resource Management
- Nepra Environmental Solutions
- Shakti Plastic Industries
- Saahas Zero Waste
Nestle India with PROs managed wastes in 12 states in 2018 and it extended to 20 states in 2019 including Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Mother Diary has collected and recycled around 1073 tonnes of plastic waste till May 2019 with the help of PRO. Pepsico with GEM Enviro Management has achieved100 percent recycled in Maharashtra. Dabur, Colgate Palmolive are also working with PROs.
Many new industrialists have taken interest. Existing PROs are expanding their collection centres. Urban local body can also work as a PRO. Because of PRO, job sector is also created.
Opinions on PROs:
According to experts its implementation is difficult at ground level. Producers can excuse from disposal of their plastic products. In urban areas mainly the collection of waste is under the guidance of local authorities. There are no collection centres of PROs at every city. Hence there must be proper coordination between Urban local body and PROs. Multi-layer packaging (MLP) materials are of larger percentage of the waste. They can only use as fuel or energy. But there are no sufficient amounts of waste to energy or waste to fuel industries. If waste is collected and transported to distant states for processing, then the cost of transport will burden the PROs. So, the plastic waste must be disposed locally. In cement industries production of fuel from plastic waste is more costly than production of fuel from coke. Hence instead of using MLPs in Cement industries, charred oil and gas must be produced from MLPs in polymer fuel units. For different states there are different waste policies. But there should be one policy throughout the nation. Speed of implementation of these policies should be fast.