The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in a new notification released on its website has called upon 52 companies from nine industries for their failure to disclose waste management plans.
Businesses using plastic packaging have to submit their plastic waste management program to CPCB under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) plan, in accordance to the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016.
The companies subsuming Amazon, Flipkart, Patanjali Ayurved Limited hadn’t yet even registered at the online portal.
“Failing to do so would invite action against the defaulters,” warned the pollution watchdog. The companies were to have registered more than a year ago and under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, it can subject to fines or imprisonment.
The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, (amended in 2018) prescribed by the Union Environment Ministry, says that companies that use plastic in their processes (packaging and production) have a responsibility to ensure that any resulting plastic waste is safely disposed of.
Under this system — called the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) — companies have to specify collection targets as well as a time-line for this process within a year of the rules coming into effect on March 2016. The plastic waste can be collected by the company or outsourced to an intermediary. The Rules also mandate the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators and retailers to manage such waste.
Statistics show a dismal picture of the country doing little to control plastic pollution. CPCB 2018 study highlighted that India generates about 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste daily and the largest contributor is the packaging sector. Only 60 per cent of the total waste generated is processed and the remaining 10,000 tonnes is unsegregated, littered and ends up in landfills or oceans or clogs drains.
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