The Centre on Friday notified new plastic waste management rules for the country, replacing the earlier ones made five years ago. The new rules, which are more stringent than the previous rules, will be implemented across the country within 6 months.
Under the new rules, carrying certain dos and don'ts for manufacturers, distributors, municipal bodies and panchayats, the government banned the manufacturing of plastic bags of below 50 microns as thinner bags currently pose a major threat to environment due to its non-disposability.
Manufacturers of plastic bags will have to make certain payments to states for its post-use disposal. The money, collected by the states from the manufacturers, will be given to local civic bodies and panchayats for taking multiple measures to dispose off plastic bags properly.
"Rural areas have also been brought in the ambit of these rules since plastic has reached to villages. Responsibility for implementation of the rules is given to Gram Panchayats", said environment minister Prakash Javadekar
He said, "Responsibility of waste generator is being introduced for the first time. Accordingly, individual and bulk generators like offices, commercial establishments and industries are to segregate the plastic waste at source, handover segregated waste and pay user fee as per bye-laws of the local bodies".
Under the new law, persons or organizations, including even the political parties, have been made responsible for management of waste generated from the events - political rallies,marriage function, religious gathering or public meetings - organised by them.
Manufacturing and use of non-recyclable multi-layered plastic will also be phased out in two years under the new rules.
Javadekar said, "The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has been mandated to formulate guidelines for thermoset plastic (the plastic difficult to recycle). In earlier rules, there was no specific provision of such type of plastic".
Under the new rules, plastic carry bags will be available only with shopkeepers/street vendors, pre-registered with local bodies, on payment of certain registration fee.
Javadekar said, "The amount collected as registration fee by the local bodies is to be used for waste management".