The last quarter saw several amendments to various waste management rules promulgated under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Key among them are the Plastic Waste Management (Second Amendment) Rules, 2023 (PWM Amendment Rules) and the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Second Amendment Rules, 2023 (MTM Amendment Rules).
- PWM Amendment Rules:
The PWM Amendment Rules issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) came into force on October 30, 2023. The PWM Amendment Rules have introduced innovative measures to streamline processes for the benefit of the businesses.
One notable change involves leveraging information technology for online reporting and establishing a trading platform for certificates from registered plastic waste processors.
The PWM Rules have refined the definitions of ‘plastic bag’ and ‘producer’. Producers, importers, and brand owners must also now register through a centralized online portal, with generated details to be printed on plastic packaging.
To comply with these rules, plastic waste recyclers and processors ought to obtain consent under environmental control legislation.
The amendment signifies a comprehensive effort to elevate plastic waste management practices while emphasising on environmental sustainability.
- MTM Amendment Rules:
The MTM Amendment Rules aim to introduce a new chapter focusing on Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) for used oil. Producers dealing with base oil/lubrication oil are subject to this EPR, requiring them to either produce re-refined base oil or utilize used oil as fuel through energy recovery. Producers, importers, bulk generators, collection agents, and recyclers of used oil are the targeted parties for these changes.
Compliance requirements for targeted entities would include:
- registration on the portal established by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB);
- filing returns with the CPCB;
- adherence to EPR targets; and
- obtaining of EPR certificates.
Non-compliance may result in environmental compensation and prosecution for providing false information.
The MTM Amendment Rules will come into effect from April 1, 2024.