Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021_00.1
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Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021

Table of Contents

Context

  • Recently, the Environment Ministry notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021.
    • The new rules aim to prohibits specific single-use plastic items which have “low utility and high littering potential” by 2022.

 

Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021_50.1

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Key points

  • The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016:
    • prohibits the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of carry bags and plastic sheets less than 50 microns in thickness in the country.
    • ban on sachets using plastic material used for storing, packing, or selling gutkha, tobacco, and pan masala.
  • Step taken by the government to strengthen the implementation of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016:
    • Constitution of a Special Task Force: by the States/UTs for the elimination of single-use plastics.
    • Constitution of a National Level Taskforce for taking coordinated efforts to eliminate identified single-use plastic items.
    • Comprehensive action plan for the elimination of single-use plastics: to be developed by the State /UT Governments and concerned Central Ministries/Departments.
    • Directions under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986: to states/UTs for setting up for institutional mechanism for strengthening enforcement of Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016.
    • Strengthening waste management infrastructure through the Swachh Bharat Mission.
    • Measures for awareness generation towards the elimination of single-use plastics and effective implementation of the rules.
      • Two months long Awareness Campaign of Single-Use Plastic 2021 has been organized.
      • Pan India essay writing competition on the theme for spreading awareness amongst school students was organized by the MoEFCC.
      • India Plastic Challenge – Hackathon 2021: was organized to encourage innovation in the development of alternatives to identified single-use plastic items and digital solutions to plastic waste management
  • India had piloted a resolution on addressing single-use plastic products pollution in the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly, 2019, recognizing the urgent need for the global community to focus on this very important issue.
  • The Plastic Waste Management Amendment rules 2021:
    • Prohibition on manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of following single-use plastic:
      • Earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene [Thermocol] for decoration;
      • Plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.
    • Increasing the thickness of lightweight plastic carry bags: to 75 microns by September 2021 and 120 microns with effect from the 31st December 2022. This will also allow the reuse of plastic carry due to increased thickness.
    • Extended Producer Responsibility of the Producer, importer, and Brand owner (PIBO): they will be responsible for collecting and managing plastic packaging waste in an environmentally sustainable way.
      • The 2021 rules give legal force to guidelines for Extended Producer Responsibility for ensuring its effective implementation.

 

Microplastic Pollution: Severity of the Problem, Its Impacts and Suggestive Measures

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