CPCB pulls up 52 firms over handling of waste

Flipkart is one of 52 companies being pulled up. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has pulled up 52 companies — including Amazon, Flipkart, Danone Foods and Beverages and Patanjali Ayurved Limited — for not specifying a timeline or a plan to collect the plastic waste that results from their business activities.

The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, (which was amended in 2018) prescribed by the Union Environment Ministry, says that companies that use plastic in their processes — packaging and production — have a responsibility to ensure that any resulting plastic waste is safely disposed of.

Under this system — called the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) — companies have to specify collection targets as well as a time-line for this process within a year of the rules coming into effect on March 2016. The plastic waste can be collected by the company or outsourced to an intermediary.

The Rules also mandate the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators and retailers to manage such waste.

A notice posted on the website of the Cental Pollution Control Board, a Ministry body, said these 52 companies hadn’t yet registered at the online portal and disclosed their disposal plans.

“Failing to do so would invite action against the defaulters,” the notice warned. This action can include fines or imprisonment under provisions of the Environment Protection Act. The companies were to have registered more than a year ago.

Inspite of these laws, India has made little progress in managing its plastic waste. According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) estimates in 2015, Indian cities generate about 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste per day and about 70 per cent of the plastic produced in the country ends up as waste. Nearly 40 per cent of India’s plastic waste is neither collected nor recycled and ends up polluting the land and water.

Plastic packaging has been singled out as one of the key contributors to plastic waste though there isn’t any number on its relative contribution. However like the companies, states too have come in the CPCB’s firing line.

The National Green Tribunal earlier this year hauled up 25 states and union territories for not following its orders on submitting a plan by April 30, 2019, on how they would comply with the Plastic Waste Management Rules of 2016. They stand to potentially pay a fine of Rs 1 crore.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 7:32:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/cpcb-pulls-up-52-firms-over-handling-of-waste/article28335897.ece

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