India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on March 18 released the new regulations on end-of-life plastics management. They update those released in 2011.
The regulations require local governments to transport collected scrap plastics to registered recycling companies only. Local governments are also instructed to use non-recyclable plastic scraps in road construction or send them to waste-to-energy facilities.
Regarding plastic bags, the regulations increase the minimum thickness requirements from 40 microns to 50 microns. They also require vendors distributing bags to charge customers for them and to register and pay fees to local government agencies.
Finally, the rules phase out the production and use of multi-layered plastic packaging over two years.
According to The New Indian Express, the regulations also make event organizers responsible for properly managing plastic waste left after events.
The director of Toxics Link, a Delhi-based nonprofit organization focused on environmental issues, told livemint.com that implementation of the rules will be important. Ravi Agarwal, director of Toxics Link, said there must be efforts made to make plastics recycling viable.