Shimla: To reduce plastic waste, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has amended the Plastic Waste Management Rules.

The main objective of the amendments is to ensure the proper management of plastic packaging waste. The rules aim to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated and increase the recycling and disposal of plastic waste.

The rules mandate the registration of Producers, Importers and Brand-Owners (PIBOs) and Plastic Waste Processors (PWPs) on the centralized Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) developed Extended Producer Responsibility Portal (EPR). All PIBOs are required to register on the EPR portal.

The registration process will involve providing details about the types and quantities of plastic products produced, imported or sold by an organization, as well as information about the measures taken to manage plastic waste. It’ll help the Central and State Pollution Control Boards to keep track of the plastic waste generated by different organizations and monitor their efforts to manage it.

It also mandates PIBOs to fulfil their Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) targets, which are aimed at ensuring that Producers and Brand Owners take responsibility for the end-of-life management of their products. PIBOs are required to fulfil these targets, which may include measures such as collection, segregation, recycling, reuse and disposal of plastic waste, as well as providing infrastructure for plastic waste management.

The Plastic waste processors shall submit annual returns by 30th April of the financial year on the quantity of plastic waste processed category-wise. The PIBOs shall file annual returns on the plastic packaging waste collected and processed by the 30th of June of the financial year.

The EPR targets are intended to encourage PIBOs to take a more active role in the management of plastic waste and to reduce the burden on local governments. It has been observed that there are approximately 800 Plastic Waste packaging units (comprising of Producers, Importers, Brand Owners and Recyclers) operational in the State. Out of 800 such units only 84 (comprising of Producers, Importers, Brand Owners and Recyclers) units have only applied on the EPR portal for obtaining registration under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. 

Following the norms change, Chairman of the H.P. State Pollution Control Board has directed Producers, Importers & Brand-Owners and Plastic Waste Processors to submit the application with complete details for Registration on EPR Portal.

All PIBOs are directed to ensure that plastic packaging waste is collected, segregated and transported to Plastic Waste Processors by having an agreement with Plastic Waste Processors for disposal and purchase of certificates.

In case the plastic is being sent to other State recyclers, the PIBOs are required to provide details of collection infrastructure and transportation details to the pollution board.