Millennium Post

Organisers of weddings, functions to pay fine for failing to clean plastic waste

Organisers of weddings, political rallies, religious gatherings and other such events will be responsible for removing plastic litter at the venue and any violations will invite penalties, the government announced on Friday.

The new Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, notified by the Environment Ministry also brings rural areas under its ambit and stipulates that only authorised shops and street vendors may provide plastic bags to customers after displaying “prominently” that they would be charged for the same.

The new rules have also increased the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags from the earlier 40 to 50 micron.

Environment Ministry officials said that from now on, plastic bags whose thickness is below 50 micron have been banned.

“15,000 tonnes of plastic waste are generated everyday of which 9,000 tonnes are collected. The rest 6,000 tonnes remains uncollected. In a year, 2 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated.”

“Therefore, the Centre is notifying the new plastic waste management rules today. This is part of revamping all the waste management rules, including solid waste, e-waste, biomedical waste, construction and demolition and hazardous waste management,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.

He said that earlier these rules were applicable at the town level but have been now extended to all villages and gram panchayats.

He said the rules are being notified after a process that lasted ten months and involved consultations and deliberations.

“Waste generators, including institutional generators, event organisers shall not litter the plastic waste but segregate it and hand it over to the authorised agency. (They should) pay user fee as prescribed by urban local bodies and spot fine in case of violation,” the new rules said.

The new rules said that the manufacture and use of non- recyclable multi-layered plastic will also be phased out within a span of two years.

Plastic bags given out by shops or street vendors will need to carry details, including markings and labels, of where and when it was manufactured and any violations will attract fines.

At the same time, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has been mandated to formulate the guidelines for thermoset plastic (which is difficult to recycle). In earlier rules, there was no specific provision for such type of plastic.

Javadekar said that for the first time, individuals and bulk waste generators like offices, commercial establishments and industries are being made responsible for segregating the plastic waste at source, handing it over and paying the required user fee.

A large number of commodities come packed and wrapped in plastic sheets that are later thrown away. Provisions have now been introduced to ensure their collection and channelisation to authorized recyling facilities.

“For the first time, producers (persons engaged in manufacture and import of carry bags, multi-layered packaging or wrapping products) and brand owners have been made responsible for collecting waste generated from their products.

“They have to approach local bodies for the formulation of a plan or system for plastic waste management. The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) will not grant or renew registration of plastic bags or multi-layered packaging unless the producer proposes the action plan endorsed by the state government department concerned,” the ministry said, adding that the earlier Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) was left at the discretion of local bodies.
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