Plastic Waste

ANSWERED ON: 20.12.2021
Plastic Waste
Thirumaa Valavan Thol
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:-

(a) whether the Government is monitoring the quantity of plastic waste flowing into the sea;

(b) if so, the details of plastic waste flowing into the sea for the past five years and the extent to which such flow reduced as per the plan of the Government; and

(c) if not, whether the Government has any plan for the control of plastic waste flow into the sea and if so, the details thereof?




(a) to (c): A statement is laid on the Table of the House. 

Statement referred to in reply to parts (a) to (c) of Lok Sabha Starred Question No. 316 to be answered on 20th December, 2021 on “Plastic Waste” by Shri Thirumaavalavan Thol, Hon’ble Member of Parliament. 

(a) to (c) : The total plastic waste generation in the country for last five years as per Annual report of Plastic Waste Management submitted by SPCBs/PCCs, is given below: 

Year Plastic Waste Generation (Tonnes per annum)

2015-16 15, 89,392 (Information from 19 States/UTs)

2016-17 15, 68,733(Information from 21 States/UTs)

2017-18 6, 60,760 (information from 14 States/UTs)

2018-19 33, 60,043

2019-20 34, 69,780 

The plastic waste generation in the country is 34.69 lakhs Tonnes per annum (TPA) during the year 2019-20 of which approximately 15.8 Lacs TPA of plastic waste is recycled and 1.67 lacs TPA is co-processed in Cement Kilns. A portion of the unprocessed and littered plastic waste can finds its way through surface waste bodies like rivers into the sea. 

The National Centre for Coastal Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, conducts research at select locations along the Indian Coast to quantify marine litter in beach, surface sea water, and seafloor on a regular basis. Studies have been undertaken to characterize marine litter in coastal areas. In one of the studies, multilayer large and medium size packets of snacks, monolayer plastic packaging used for food, detergent etc., synthetic woven bags and polythene bags have been reported. 

The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, as amended, provide the statutory framework of plastic waste management in the country. The Rules prohibits manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of carry bags and plastic sheets less than fifty microns in thickness in the country. There is complete ban on sachets using plastic material used for storing, packing or selling gutkha, tobacco and pan masala. 

The Ministry has notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, vide GSR NO. 571 (E) on 12th August 2021, in the Gazette of India, prohibiting identified single use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential, by 1st July 2022. 

As far as, plastic carry bags are concerned, the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, prohibits manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having thickness less than seventy five microns with effect from 30th September, 2021, and having thickness less than thickness of one hundred and twenty microns with effect from the 31st December, 2022.Further, over and above the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, as amended, thirty four states/UTs have issued notifications/orders to introduce regulations pertaining to complete or partial ban on plastic carry bags and/or identified single-use plastic items. 

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the draft Regulations on the Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic packaging under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, as amended from time to time, in the Gazette of India vide GSR No. 722 (E) on 6th October, 2021for public consultation. As per the draft notification, the producer, Importers &brand-owners respectively shall ensure minimum level of recycling (excluding end of life disposal) of plastic packaging waste collected under Extended Producer Responsibility. The enforceable prescription of minimum level of recycling of plastic packaging waste collected under Extended Producer Responsibility to producer, Importers &brand-owners in the draft notification will further strengthen circular economy of plastic packaging waste. 

The Government has also been taking measures for awareness generation towards elimination of single use plastics and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. 

Separately, through the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011 several activities are prohibited in the CRZ areas like setting up and expansion of units or mechanism for disposal of wastes and effluents, except for some essential activities. The Government of India has initiated several programmes such as Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban and Grameen), National Mission for Clean Ganga and Smart Cities Mission” in order to develop clean and sustainable environment. 

The Ministry has also constituted a Steering Committee on 14th May 2019 in order to harmonize the efforts of various ministries/departments and agencies towards marine litter particularly due to plastic waste.