Fighting Plastic only strong on paper in India

Fighting Plastic only strong on paper in India

Issue :-

  • Maharashtra is gearing up for a stringent ban on plastic.
  • But Experience from across the country suggests that States’ claims on reigning in plastic are stronger on paper than on the ground.

Centre’s Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules 2016 :-

  • According to the Centre’s Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016, all States have to annually inform the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the steps taken to reign in plastic use, whether a ban is in force, and the strength and performance of a recycler and waste-processing network.
  • The law requires that all plastic waste recyclers register themselves.

According to the latest report of July 2016 :-

  • Only 24 States and Union Territories have complied with these directions.
  • Most States, while claiming a ban, qualify it by saying that the ban is imposed in specific towns or cities or that it is focused on particular categories of plastic.
  • There are around 312 unregistered plastic manufacturing/recycling units in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttrakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
  • It is observed that most of the States/UTs have not set-up proper monitoring system for use of carry bags as per the specified guidelines.
  • It has been observed that those States/UTs, who have imposed complete ban on use and sale of plastic carry bags, the plastic bags are stocked, sold and used indiscriminately.
  • Besides, substandard carry bags (<50 micron) are used widely in other States/UTs, violating PWM Rules, 2016,” the CPCB highlights in the report.

What are States doing ?

  • Assam :- Its performance report states that while there is a “complete ban” on plastic carry bags in Kamrup, Sonitpur, Nalbari, Dibrugarh, but it allows the import of “substandard plastic carry bags”, provided the Commissioner of Taxes, Assam is informed.
  • Gujarat :- The estimated plastic waste generation is approximately 2,69,294 tonnes per annum and there are nearly 689 plastic waste recyclers, all of them registered. But only Gandhinagar — the capital city has an “explicit” ban on the use of plastic carry bags.
  • Delhi :- It generates the largest quantity of plastic waste in the country, has not provided information on its plastic management initiatives to the CPCB.

India on Plastic :-

  • India generates an estimated 32 million metric tonnes of packaging waste each year, of which plastic waste constitutes 16%. But only 60% of the collected plastic waste is recycled.
  • Around 43% of manufactured plastics are used for packaging, most of it “single-use” plastic. So far, not a single one of the 24 States that report their plastic waste management performance have plans in place to tackle single use plastics.

CPCB – Central Pollution Control Board :-

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India is a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoE,FCC).
  • It was established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
  • CPCB is also entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  • It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • It Co-ordinates the activities of the State Pollution Control Boards by providing technical assistance and guidance and also resolves disputes among them.
  • It is the apex organisation in country in the field of pollution control, as a technical wing of MoEF.

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