On January 20, 2022, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India released the draft “Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2022,” and is soliciting opinions for 60 days. The proposed amendment would amend some of the provisions to align them with the proposed Regulations on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Plastic Packaging, published on October 7, 2021. It proposes, for example, exempting labeling provisions for plastic sheets for packaging and multilayer packaging used in imported products. In addition, new provisions on environmental compensation based on the polluter-pays principle have been added, and environmental compensation will be levied and collected in accordance with separate guidelines established by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The proposed Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2022 can be downloaded from the following URL (in Hindi and English).
The main contents of the proposed regulations are as follows:
- Revised definitions of “brand owner” and “importer”
A brand owner is an individual or company that sells goods under a label or trademark of a registered brand.
An importer is a person who imports plastic packaging products, products with plastic packaging, carrier bags, multilayer packaging, or plastic sheeting, etc.
- Definitions such as “biodegradable plastic” and “plastic packaging” were added
Plastic packaging is a packaging material that uses plastic used for a variety of purposes such as product protection, preservation, storage, or transportation.
- The provisions of the Protocol on Compostable Plastic Materials (Article 10) were amended as follows:
“Biodegradability and degradation of plastic materials shall be measured in accordance with the Indian standard set forth in Schedule I to this Regulation, and standard biodegradable plastics other than compostable plastics shall be guaranteed to be completely degraded by biological processes within the specified time, under environmental (onshore or underwater) conditions, without leaving microplastics or visible, identifiable or toxic residues adversely affecting the environment, and shall be in accordance with the appropriate Indian standard. Compostable plastic materials must comply with the Indian Standard IS17088: 2008.”
- Amend the provisions on marking or labeling (Article 11) as follows:
The following information must be printed in English on plastic carrier bags, plastic sheets for packaging, etc., and multilayer packaging:
From July 1, 2022 onwards, for carrier bags and plastic sheets for packaging, etc., the name and registration number of the producer or brand owner and the thickness (except for plastic sheets for packaging, etc., used in imported products). This provision does not apply to “plastic sheets, etc., used for packaging” when exempted under Article 26 of the 2011 Statutory Weighing and Packaging Merchandise Regulations.
From July 1, 2022 onwards, for multilayer packaging, the name and registration number of the producer or brand owner (except for multilayer packaging used in imported products)
For compostable plastic carrier bags, the name and certification number of the producer (see Article 4 (h))
Importers or brand owners of carrier bags, multilayer packaging, or plastic sheets,etc. imported alone or with the product, must comply with Article 11 (a) and (b).
- With respect to the registration of producers, recyclers and manufacturers (Article 13), if the entity operates in three states or territories, the place of registration shall be the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and if two or fewer, the place of registration shall be State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or the Pollution Control Committee (PCC).
- The imposition of environmental compensation (Article 18) was newly added.
Environmental Compensation shall be imposed on those who do not comply with the provisions of the Rules based on the principle of polluter pays, for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling, and preventing environmental pollution.
The CPCB shall establish and publicize guidelines for the levying and collection of environmental compensation. The environmental compensation guidelines shall be updated as necessary.
In addition, the terminology and specifications of the registration application form (Form I) were changed.