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Govt. announces plastic waste recycling targets

  • Integrity Education, Delhi
  • 13, Oct 2021
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  • The Environment Ministry has issued draft rules that mandate producers of plastic packaging material to collect all of their produce by 2024 and ensure that a minimum percentage of it be recycled as well as used in subsequent supply.
  • It has also specified a system whereby makers and users of plastic packaging could collect certificates — called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) certificates — and trade in them.
  • Only a fraction of plastic that cannot be recycled — such as multi-layered multi material plastics — would be eligible to be sent for end-of-life disposal such as road construction, waste to energy, waste to oil and cement kilns.

Categories of Plastic

  • Category 1: Rigid plastic
  • Category 2: Flexible plastic packaging of single layer or multilayer (more than one layer with different types of plastic), plastic sheets and covers made of plastic sheet, carry bags (including carry bags made of compostable plastics), plastic sachet or pouches
  • Category 3: Multilayered plastic packaging, which has at least one layer of plastic and at least one layer of material other than plastic.

Recycling Targets

  • In 2024, a minimum 50% of their rigid plastic (category 1) would have to be recycled as would 30% of their category 2 and 3 plastic.
  • After 2026-27, 80% of their category 1 and 60% of the other two categories would need to be recycled.