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New plastic waste management draft rules

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Ban many types of single-use plastic

The draft Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2021, issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on March 11, has necessitated a few changes in the country’s handling of its plastic waste.

One, the amendment has extended the applicability of the rules to brand-owner, plastic waste processor, including the recycler, co-processor, etc.  It will also include new definitions of:

    • Non-woven plastic bag
    • Plastic waste processing
    • Single-use plastic (SUP) item
    • Thermoset plastic
    • Thermoplastic

The Union ministry has proposed increasing the thickness of carry bags made of virgin plastic to 120 microns from 50 microns. 

The draft also proposes a ban on the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of specific single-use plastic from January 1, 2022. These include plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, and thermocol (extended polystyrene) for decoration.

The draft is open for public suggestion for 60 days for consideration by the central government, following which it will be published in the Gazette of India.

These rules may be called Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021, and shall come into force on the date of publication in the Official Gazette.

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