India India announces draft EPR regulations for plastic packaging

On October 7, 2021, India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change issued a draft notification, setting out rules for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastic packaging, and has been inviting comments for 60 days. The draft aims at producers and importers of plastic packaging, brand owners and plastic waste processors and provides EPR targets for designated plastic packaging materials, such as rigid plastic packaging, including phased collection targets, recycling targets, and an obligation to use a percentage of recycled plastic. As for those that cannot be recycled, such as multi-layered plastics, they will be sent for final disposal, such as road construction or energy recovery, as per relevant guidelines issued by the Indian Road Congress or the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Under the proposal, if the EPR target for the year is achieved and a surplus is generated, an EPR certificate will be issued for the surplus, which can be used to make up for the shortfall in the previous year, carried forward to the next year, or sold to other eligible parties. It is proposed that this regulation will come into effect upon publication.

Obligated Entities

  • Producer of plastic packaging
  • Importer of all imported plastic packaging and/or plastic packaging of imported products
  • Brand Owners including online platforms/marketplaces and supermarkets/retail chains other than those, which are micro and small enterprises as per the criteria of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Plastic Waste Processors

Covered Plastic Packaging

  • Category I: Rigid plastic packaging
  • Category II: Flexible plastic packaging of single layer or multilayer (more than one layer with different types of plastic), plastic sheets or like and covers made of plastic sheet, carry bags (including carry bags made of compostable plastics), plastic sachet or pouches
  • Category III: Multilayered plastic packaging (at least one layer of plastic and at least one layer of material other than plastic)

EPR Obligations

The proposal sets collection targets, recycling targets, and an obligation to use a percentage of recycled plastic. For example, the following obligations are set for importers.

  • Collection Targets
Year Collection Target
I 2021-22 35%
II 2022-23 70%
III 2023-24 and onwards 100%
  • Recycling Targets
Plastic Packaging 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 and onwards
Category I 50% 60% 70% 80%
Category II 30% 40% 50% 60%
Category III 30% 40% 50% 60%
  • Final Disposal

For those that cannot be recycled, such as multi-layered plastics, they will be sent for final disposal, such as road construction, energy recovery, oil conversion, etc., as per the relevant guidelines issued by the Indian Road Congress or the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (as specified in Section 5(1)(b) of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016). etc.) for final disposal.

  • Obligation for use of recycled plastic content
Plastic Packaging 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 and onwards
Category I 30% 40% 50% 60%
Category II 20% 20% 30% 30%
Category III 5% 5% 10% 10%

With regard to the above targets, if the target for the year is achieved and a surplus is generated, an EPR certificate will be issued for the surplus, which can be used to make up for the shortfall in the previous year, carried over to the next year, or sold to other eligible parties. However, the EPR certificate for the surplus can only be used for offsetting, carry-over, or sale in the same category. If the EPR target is not met, surplus EPR certificates may be purchased from other eligible parties to compensate. All transactions of EPR certificates must be recorded and submitted with the annual report.

 

The draft can be downloaded from the following URL.
https://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2021/230228.pdf

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