On August 12, 2021, India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change published the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021. This rule, for which amendments were proposed in March 2021, amended the thickness of virgin or recycled plastic carry bags to 75 microns or greater after September 30, 2021, and 120 microns or greater after December 31, 2022. In addition, the manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of the stipulated disposable plastic products will be prohibited after July, 2022. This regulation will take effect upon promulgation, and includes a provision that any future notification prohibiting the manufacture, import, use, etc. of carry bags, plastic sheets, multi-layer packaging materials, and disposable plastics will take effect 10 years after publication.
The main provisions of the amendment are as follows.
- Add brand owners and plastic waste processors (e.g. recyclers, co-processors) to the scope of application
- Add the definition of terms, “non-woven plastic bag”, “plastic waste processing”, “single-use plastic item”, “thermoset plastic” and “thermoplastic”
- In Article 4, the provision that the thickness of virgin or recycled plastic carry bags shall be “50 microns or more” is revised to “75 microns or more after September 30, 2021, and 120 microns or more after December 31, 2022.
- The above thickness rule does not apply to compostable plastic carry bags and “commodities”.
- In Article 4, newly add the provision that “Each sheet of non-woven plastic carry bag shall not be less than 60 GSM in thickness with effect from September 30, 2021”.
- From July 1, 2022, the following single-use plastic commodities shall be prohibited to manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use.
- Ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (Thermocol) for decoration (including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene)
- plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping/packing films around sweet boxes; invitation cards; and cigarette packets, plastic/PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers (exclude commodities (including carry bags) made of compostable plastic material)
- Any notification issued after the publication of this rule, prohibiting the manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of carry bags, plastic sheets, multi-layer packaging materials and disposable plastics shall take effect 10 years after the promulgation.
- In Article 11 (marking and labeling), “plastic packaging” is added to the scope, and the labeling information is revised as follows.
- name, registration number of the manufacturer/ producer/ brand-owner and thickness in case of carry bag and plastic packaging used by the brand owner;
- name and registration number of the manufacturer in case of multilayered packaging (excluding multilayered packaging used for imported goods); and
- name and certificate number of producer [Rule 4(h)] in case of carry bags made from compostable plastic.
The amendment can be downloaded from the following URL.
- Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016
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