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Plastic waste management rules on beating Plastic Pollution

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  • Published
    25th Aug, 2021


The central government introduced the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules which recognizes the severity of pollution caused by plastic labels for daily use.

  • The decisions follow recommendations made by an expert group constituted by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals two years ago.

How big is this plastic issue?

  • Plastic is a synthetic polymer made of gasoline with structures suitable for various uses, including packaging, construction and construction, household and sports equipment, automobiles, electronics and agriculture. Plastic is cheap, lightweight, strong and soft.
  • More than 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually, half of which are used to design consumer goods, such as shopping bags, cups and straw.
  • Only 9% of recycled plastic waste. About 12% burned, while 79% accumulated in landfills.
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), at least eight million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year.

Global Waste Plant Problem:

  • Pollution due to the use of plastic materials has become an important environmental challenge facing all countries.
  • Only nine percent of the plastic trash produced between 1950 and 2015 was reused worldwide, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and others.
  • 3 million tons of Indian waste was recovered in 2018-19.
  • This translates to about 9,200 tons per day (TPD). The total amount of municipal waste is 55-65 million tons; plastic waste is about 5-6 percent of the solid waste generated in the country.

Recent steps by India

  • Currently, the Plastic Waste Management Regulations, 2016, prohibit the manufacture, importation, storage, distribution, sale and use of handling bags and plastic sheets of less than 50 microns in the country.
  • The Prime Minister of India was also awarded the “world champion” award by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 2018 for promising to eradicate all once-used plastic by 2022.
  • India has pledged to take steps to reduce land pollution caused by Single Use Plastics.
  • India has generated 34 lakh tonnes of plastic waste in 2019-20, of which only 60% has been recycled
  • 6 of the top 100 global producers of polymers which produces large quantity of plastic waste are based in India.
  • 22 states in India have announced ban on single use plastic but, it had little impact on outcomes

Plastic Waste Management Amendment Regulations, 2021:

  • The Department of Environment has introduced the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Regulations, 2021.
  • These laws prohibit certain types of plastic items that are used and have 'low use and high waste disposal capacity' by 2022.
  • The permissible size of plastic bags, currently 50 microns, will be increased to 75 microns from September 30, 2021, and to 120 microns from December 31, 2022.
  • High-strength plastic bags are easily treated as waste and have high recycling performance.
  • At the policy level, the concept of Extended Product Responsibility (EPR), already mentioned under the 2016 Regulations, should be promoted.
  • EPR is a policy in which producers are given significant, financial and / or physical responsibility for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board, together with state pollution agencies, will monitor the ban, identify violations, and impose fines already imposed under the Environmental Protection Act, 1986.

Problems with plastic waste management

  • In terms of policy- India's environmental policies vary, deliberately good but bad in terms of results
  • With regard to government spending in the absence of a strong will from national governments to replace municipal contracts
  • Regarding recycling- due to lack of partition, most plastic waste cannot be recycled
  • Cold regulation - This has led to a ban on the movement of plastic waste to other provinces with recycling.

Steps So far

  • GloLitter Partnerships Project: Launched by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as well. the first subsidy from the Norwegian Government.
    • Purpose: To prevent and reduce marine plastic waste from shipping and fisheries.
    • It will also assist developing countries in reducing marine waste, including plastic waste, from the maritime and fisheries sector, and reducing the use of plastic in these industries.
    • Also help identify potential recycling and recycling of plastics.
    • Thirty countries including India have joined this global marine pollution program.
  • World Environment Day, 2018 is held in India, world leaders promise "Beat Beat Pollution" and end its use completely.
  • Specifically, in India: The Plastic Waste Management Regulations, 2016 states that every local organization must be responsible for establishing infrastructure for sorting, collecting, processing and disposing of plastic waste.
  • Plastic Waste Management Regulations (Amendments): The 2018 Regulations introduce the concept of Extra Manufacturer Responsibility (EPR).
  • Prohibit Single Use Plastics with the aim of liberating India of once-used plastics by 2022.

Suggestive measures

  • As consumers, we need to make sure that all the plastic waste that leaves our homes is separated and not contaminated with food waste.
  • Handling plastic waste requires practical knowledge, not only for those who manufacture plastic but also for those who use it.
  • The owner of the product and the manufacturer must try and understand the penalty for the plastic assembly that you will encounter after its packaging purpose has been used.
  • Citizens should bring about a change in behaviour and contribute to non-pollution and help to separate waste and waste management.
  • Encouraging innovation in the use of alternative plastics identification methods and digital plastic waste management solutions, India Plastic Challenge - Hack 2020, is designed for students of Higher Education institutions and initiatives known under the Start-up India Initiative.


The bulk of the plastic waste cannot be recycled due to the lack of separation, which leads to burns, while mixing new types of plastic compost can confuse the problem. Wet control has led to the ban on plastic crossing State borders. Now that the institution has adopted a comprehensive ban, the ongoing pollution must end. Moreover, Micro plastic has already been found in the food chain, and governments must act decisively to curb this scourge.


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