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Centre bans plastic bags below 50 microns
Mar 28, 2016

Government of India 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.

Problem of plastic waste in India: Nearly 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated per day in the country of which 6,000 tonnes does not even get collected. In India, approximately 12 million tonnes of plastic products are consumed every year, according to trade bodies

Details of the Rule

  • 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 micron as thinner bags currently pose a major threat to environment due to its non-disposability.

  • The greater onus put on plastic producers is the biggest change in the new rules. Producers, importers and brand owners who introduce plastic carry bags, multi-layered plastic sachet or pouches will have to establish a system for collecting back the plastic waste generated due to their products. Manufacturers of plastic items have been given six months to do this.

  • The fresh norms replaced the 2011 version that was in effect since 2012.

  • The new rules, which are more stringent than the previous rules, will be implemented across the country within 6 months.

  • 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.

  • 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 alsobe phased out in two years under the new rules.

  • 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.

  • The amount collected as registration fee by the local bodies is to be used for waste management.

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