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Roadmap for implementing plastic, e-waste management rules proposed

Source :  Live Mint, 05 October 2016, New Delhi

The new sets of rules from the Central Pollution Control Board make producers responsible for the collection of waste generated from their products.

India’s main pollution watchdog, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), has proposed a roadmap for implementing new plastic and electronic waste management rules that make manufacturers responsible for collecting waste generated from their products.

The environment ministry introduced the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules 2016 and E-Waste Management Rules 2016 in March to ensure environmentally sound management of India’s ever-increasing waste problem.

Both sets of rules make producers responsible for the collection of waste generated from their products.
The draft guidelines, released in September, are expected to ensure smooth implementation of the new rules that replace Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011.

“The government needs to step up and ensure implementation of the waste manage rules. Else delay in their implementation will be misused to make a mockery of the rules,” said Ravi Agarwal, director at Toxics Link, a Delhi-based non-profit working on environmental issues.

As per estimates, 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated daily, of which only 9,000 tonnes is collected and processed. Through the new rules, the government hopes to increase the overall collection of waste in the country.

According to the draft guidelines for the disposal of non-recyclable plastic waste, the most preferred option is minimizing the use of non-recyclable plastic products and promoting alternative materials that are more easily recyclable, reusable and compostable.

“The preferred option for disposal of non-recyclable plastic waste is co-processing in cement plants due to its high temperature (upto 2000°C). The producers of non-recyclable plastic, major uses like food packaging, pharmaceuticals, multilayer film manufacturing industries in consultation with local authority, cement plants shall work out modalities for co-processing of such waste in cement kilns,” the draft says.

For electronic or e-waste, the new rules make the producers responsible for collection and also provide for a financial penalty for any damage caused to the ecology and any third party due to improper management of e-waste.

State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) may consider incentives such as reduction of water cess/consent fee for such cement plants, according to the draft guidelines.
For electronic or e-waste, the new rules make the producers responsible for collection and also provide for a financial penalty for any damage caused to the ecology and any third party due to improper management of e-waste.

As per the rules, producers will have to set targets over the next few years for the collection of e-waste. As per official estimates, India generates 17 lakh tonnes of e-waste in a year, and the volume is rising at the rate of 5% a year.

The board has also proposed implementation guidelines for e-waste management rules, providing a detailed EPR plan for the collection, storage, transportation, dismantling and recycling processes.

As per the guidelines, a producer can implement EPR either through, “take back system and/or by setting up collection centres or both for channelisation of e-waste from end of life products to authorised dismantlers/recyclers”.

EPR authorisation is mandatory and has to be obtained by all the producers including importers, e-retailers/on-line sellers in respect of electrical and electronic equipment, the draft guidelines said.

Collection centres have to collect e-waste either on behalf of the producers or dismantlers or recyclers or refurbishers, including those arising from orphaned products, according to the guidelines.

The draft proposes collection points for e-waste at designated places such as residential areas, office complexes, commercial complexes, retail outlets, customer care stores, educational and research institutions, resident welfare associations (RWAs).

It also proposes, mobile collection vans for door to door collection of e-waste or from institutions, individuals, small enterprises.

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