The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India (GoI) has notified the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 on 4th February, 2011 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. In order to bring greater clarity and to comply with the directions of Hon-ble Supreme Court, MoEF has published the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) (Amendment) Rules, 2011 on 2nd July, 2011.

The set of rules is a 17 page document and for the ease of the readers, the following are the salient features after the amendment:

During course of manufacture, sale, stock, distribution and use plastic carry bags, containers, pouches and multilayered packaging the following conditions shall be fulfilled, namely: –

  • Carry bags and. containers made of virgin plastics shall be in natural shade;
  • No person shall use carry bags or containers made of recycled plastics or biodegradable plastics for storing, carrying, dispensing or packaging of food stuffs;
  • Carry bags and containers made of recycled or biodegradable plastics and used for purpose of other than storing and packaging foodstuffs shall be manufactured using pigments and colorants as per the Bureau of Indian Standards’ specifications: IS 9833: 1981 entitled “List of pigments and colorants for use in plastics in contact with foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and drinking water”
  • No person shall manufacture, stock, distribute or sell carry bags made of virgin or ‘recycled plastics or bio-degradable plastics, which are less than 12×18 inches (30X45 cms) in size and less than 40 microns in thickness;
  • No person shall manufacture carry bags or containers or pouches or multilayered packaging from biodegradable plastics unless these meet the Bureau of Indian Standards’ specifications: ISIISO 17088:2008 entitle1 “Specifications for Compostable Plastics”
  • No person shall manufacture; stock, distribute or sell non-recyclable laminated plastic or metallic pouches, multi-layered packagings, and other non-recyclable plastics.

Recycling– Recycling of plastics shall be undertaken strictly in accordance with the Bureau of Indian Standards’ specification: IS 14534: 1998 entitled “The Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics”

Marking or codification– Every manufacturer shall code or mark each carry bag or container made of plastics, so as to ascertain whether it is made of “virgin plastic” or “recycled plastic” or “bio-degradable plastic” as per the following namely:-

  • The manufacturer of recycled carry bags or container shall code or mark each carry bag and container as per the Bureau of Indian Standards’ Specification: IS 14534: 1998 entitled “The Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics” and the end product made of recycled plastics shall be marked as “recycled” along with indication of the percentage of use of recycled material;
  • Each carry bag or container made from biodegradable plastic shall bear a code/mark as per Bureau of Indian Standards’ Specification: ISIISO 17088:2008 entitled “Specifications for Compostable Plastics” and the end product made of biodegradable plastics shall be marked “compostable” or “biodegradable during composting”;
  • Each carry bag or container shall be printed bilingually (English, Hindi or Local language) with the following information namely:-
    • Name and address of the Manufacturer
    • Registration number granted by the concerned State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee;
    • Size and thickness of the carry bag or container.

Protocols for plastic materials – Determination of biodegradability and the degree of disintegration of plastic material shall be as per the protocols of the. Bureau of Indian Standards listed at the Annexure to these rules.

Registration – The grant of registration certificate will be subject to the following conditions, namely:-

  • Every occupier manufacturing or proposing to manufacture carry bags or containers made of virgin plastics or recycled plastics or biodegradable plastics shall make an application in Form 1 appended to these rules to the State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee of the Union territory concerned for grant of registration or renewal of registration for his unit, as the case may be;
  • On or after the commencement of these rules, no person shall manufacture carry bags or containers irrespective of its size or thickness or quality unless the occupier of the unit has registered his unit with the State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee, as the case may be, prior to the commencement of production;
  • The State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee shall not the State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee shall not issue or renew the registration certificate to a unit unless the unit possesses a valid consent under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (6 of 1974) and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 (14 of 1981) as per the requirements laid down by the State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee, as the case may be;
  • Every State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee shall grant registration within thirty days of receipt of application, complete in all respects.
  • The registration granted under this rule shall, unless revoked/suspended or can celled earlier, be valid for a period of three years: Provided that the certificate of registration shall not be revoked or suspended or canceled unless the manufacturer shall be given an opportunity of hearing;
  • Every application for renewal of registration shall be made in the Form 1 appended to these rules at least sixty days before the expiry of the validity of registration.
  • The definition of carry bags has been clarified to mean “bags made from any plastic material, used for the purpose of carrying or dispensing commodities but do not include bags that constitute or form an integral part of the packaging in which goods are sealed prior to use.
  • It has been clarified that the applicability of various provisions of the Rules is to “multilayered plastic pouches and sachets” and not to “multi-layered packaging material”.
  • Exemption granted to carry bags for export purposes has been clarified to be applicable to carry bags exclusively for export purposes, against an order for export.
  • The definition of multilayered plastic pouches or sachets has been clarified to mean pouches or sachets having at least one layer of plastic with one or more layers of other packing material;
  • The meaning of carry bags in white color has been clarified to mean carry bags in natural shade (colorless) i.e. without any added pigment;
  • The concept of deemed registration with SPCBs /PCCs for manufacturer/recycler of carry bags, multilayered plastic pouches or sachets has been introduced. Manufacturers, who have already registered, shall not be required to register again whereas others shall have to register.
  • It has been clarified that plastic material, in any, form shall not be used in any packaging for packing, gutkha, pan masala and tobacco in all forms.
  • The responsibility of municipal authority, manufacturers and the brand owners in setting up of the collection system as per Extended Producer’s Responsibility has been clarified.
  • It has been clarified that the municipal authority may work out the modalities of a mechanism based on Extended Producer’s Responsibility involving such manufacturers, registered within its jurisdiction and brand owners with registered offices within its jurisdiction either individually or collectively, as feasible or set up such collection systems through its own agencies.

 The full notification may please be seen in the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ Website at www.moef.nic in

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