Prelims level : Pollution and Waste Management Mains level : GS-III Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.
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Why in News?

  • Recently, The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart need to fulfil their extended producer responsibility.

Central Pollution Control Board:

  • It is of India is a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • It was established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
  • It is also entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR):

  • It is a policy approach under which producers are given a significant responsibility – financial and physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products.
  • It provides incentives to prevent wastes at the source, promote product design for the environment and support the achievement of public recycling and materials management goals.

Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016:

  • According to the rules, the Primary responsibility for collection of used multi-layered plastic sachet or pouches or packaging is of Producers, Importers and Brand Ownerswho introduce the products in the market. They need to establish a system for collecting back the plastic waste generated due to the packaging of their products.
  • The 2016 rules were amended in 2018, laying emphasis on the phasing out of Multi-layered Plastic (MLP), which are “non-recyclable, or non-energy recoverable, or with no alternate use.”
  • It is framed in 2016 which extended the responsibility to collect waste generated from the products to their producers (i.e. persons engaged in the manufacture, or import of carrying bags, multi-layered packaging and sheets or like and the persons using these for packaging or wrapping their products) and brand owners.
  • They have to approach local bodies for the formulation of plan/system for the plastic waste management within the prescribed time frame.
  • It has been extended to villages as well. Earlier, it was limited to municipal districts.
  • It prescribes a central registration system for the registration of the producer/importer/brand owner.
  • It also provided that registration should be automated and take into account ease of doing business for producers, recyclers and manufacturers.
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)has been mandated to formulate the guidelines for thermoset plastic (plastic difficult to recycle).
  • The national registryhas been prescribed for producers with a presence in more than two states, a state-level registration has been prescribed for smaller producers/brand owners operating within one or two states.

Way Ahead:

  • Using of plastic packing constitutes more than 40% of the total plastic waste generated in India.
  • It is important to direct the usage to Plastic Packing Materials and shift to Environment-Friendly Packing Material.
  • Biodegradable plasticis plastic made from all-natural plant materials (including corn oil, orange peels, starch, and plants etc.).
  • It can decompose naturally in the environment when microorganisms in the soil metabolize and break down the structure of Biodegradable Plastic.
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