The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 on 18th March, 2016. EPR Policy has mandated the generators of waste have been to take steps in order to minimize the generation of plastic waste, decrease litter of the plastic waste, ensure segregated storage of waste and systematic handover of the segregated waste to the local bodies or agencies authorised by the local bodies. The EPR rules have also mandated the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators, retailers and street vendors to manage plastic waste.
Benefits of Extended Producer Responsibility
EPR legislations have been put in place to act as motivators for the manufacturers to decrease the impact of product on the environment. EPR ensures a direct financial impact on the manufacturers with increase in environmental impact of their products on the environment. EPR is a positive force towards incremental recycling and reuse of the products and decrease in the use of hazardous components in manufacture of products. It also has led to increased implementation of environment friendly design and strategies ultimately resulting in decrease of landfills and hazardous wastes
Responsibility of Producer
Producers are made responsible for the end-of-life management of their products by undertaking activities like take-back, recycling and reuse of the products manufactured by them.
Manufacturers have to be compliant with the regulatory compliance associated with the production process but are also responsible for end of life cycle of the product. Not all producers are equipped with waste management capabilities, hence they end up hiring specialised third party agencies / organisations to take care of recycle and reuse on their behalf. Some of the responsibilities of the producers can be summarised as below:
1. The producers of plastic waste shall register themselves as “producer” in accordance with the provisions of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 (PWM Rules).
2. If the producer operates in more than two states then the application shall be submitted to the CPCB
3. Design an action plan for EPR responsibility and submit it to the CPCB. The plan shall consist the type and quantities of plastic waste. The details shall also include pre-consumer and post-consumer generated waste segregated in a zone-wise manner, the method of collection and processing of plastic waste segregated zone-wise and the details of the strategic / implementation partners along with the detailed and supporting documentation.
4. Once the EPR Plan is approved by the CPCB, the Producers are responsible for the Collection, logistics, recycling, processing/ co-processing / re-processing or disposal of plastic waste in the manner and quantity mentioned in the approved EPR plan. They may conduct such activities either through their own channels, or in association or partnership(s) with municipalities/local bodies or any other method that can ensure traceability of the waste.
5. Maintenance of records for each activity for quarterly filings and other periodic filings.
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