The Central Government has introduced amendments to the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. The newly notified regulations, titled “Plastic Waste Management (Second Amendment) Rules, 2023,” aim to strengthen the management and regulation of plastic waste in the country.
The key provisions of the amendments are as follows:
1. Exemptions for Export-Oriented Units:
- Export-oriented units or units in special economic zones are exempted from the application of Rule 9(1). This exemption applies to units manufacturing plastic packaging used for export. Such units need not work out modalities for waste collection system based on Extended Producers Responsibility and involving State Urban Development Departments.
2. Definitions and Terminology:
- The amended regulations have updated some definitions, including the definition of “carry bags” and “producer.”
3. Modification of Terminology:
- The term “multi-layered packaging” has been replaced with “plastic packaging” in respect of conditions for manufacture, importer stocking, distribution, sale and use and maintenance of records.
4. Labeling Requirements:
- The amended regulation also provides for information that must be printed on plastic packaging, including registration details, producer information, and more. These provisions are intended to enhance traceability and accountability.
5. Enforcement Authorities:
- The roles and responsibilities of authorities responsible for enforcing the Plastic Waste Management Rules have additionally been clarified. District-level officials and municipal bodies will also play vital roles in enforcing these rules.
6. Registration Process:
- The application process for registration, ensuring that producers, importers, brand owners, and waste processors has also been outlined in the present regulations. The one-time registration application process has been specified, and certain prerequisites, such as valid consents, are required for registration.
7. Amendments to Schedule II:
- Various amendments are made in Schedule II, including regulations for dealing with unregistered entities, changes in deadlines, provisions for filing annual returns, and the purchase of extended producer responsibility certificates from different categories.