An Article by Dr. Amitava Aich.
(Dr. A. Aich is a teacher, researcher, academic administrator, and most importantly a passionate environmentalist. He has worked in the diversified field of Environment, from Biodiversity, Wetlands, Wild Life, Estuarine and Mangrove to Solid Waste Management. From saving the trees to solve the plastic menace, he is a tireless warrior).
For all those interested in the Plastic menace or in solving the same the following write up is being produced as guideline regarding dos and don’t.
This has been published before in our fb page. Now again being republished. There may be many limitations and gap area of this Rule (It has been formulated under the aegis of Environment Protection (India) Act, 1986) but what ever little has been depicted here if properly implemented can arrest the present condition at many levels.
The problem of any Env. legislation in India is implementation. Thus ask your local authorities (given below), push them to the wall, keep them over toes until that happens. You may share or copy or translate as much as you can.
India now has the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 in exercise of the powers conferred by the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, which suggest in rule 4 that carry bags made of recycled plastic or products made of recycled plastic shall not be used for storing, carrying, dispensing or packaging ready to eat or drink food stuff and carry bag made of virgin or recycled plastic, shall not be less than 50 microns in thickness (The Gazette of India, 18th March, 2018, Part II-Sec-3-Subsection (i)). Nevertheless, its implementation remains a problem. As per rule 6 of this and Sec (1) of rule 6, every local body (here means local Govt. or elected bodies or Public bodies) shall be responsible for development and setting up of infrastructure for segregation, collection, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of the plastic waste either on its own or by engaging agencies or producers.
And in section (2) of rule 6, the local body shall be responsible for setting up, operationalisation and co-ordination of the waste management system and for performing the associated functions, namely:- (a) Ensuring segregation, collection, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of plastic waste; (b) ensuring that no damage is caused to the environment during this process; (c) ensuring channelization of recyclable plastic waste fraction to recyclers; (d) ensuring processing and disposal on non-recyclable fraction of plastic waste in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board; (e) creating awareness among all stakeholders about their responsibilities; (f) engaging civil societies or groups working with waste pickers; and (g) ensuring that open burning of plastic waste does not take place (this point is very important, given the way plastics are being burned by local authorities).
Again as per rule 12 (sec1 to 4) i.e in the role of Prescribed authority it is written (1) The State Pollution Control Board and Pollution Control Committee in respect of a Union territory shall be the authority for enforcement of the provisions of these rules relating to registration, manufacture of plastic products and multilayered packaging, processing and disposal of plastic wastes.
(2) The concerned Secretary-in-charge of Urban Development of the State or a Union Territory shall be the authority for enforcement of the provisions of these rules relating to waste management by waste generator, use of plastic carry bags, plastic sheets or like, covers made of plastic sheets and multilayered packaging.
(3) The concerned Gram Panchayat shall be the authority for enforcement of the provisions of these rules relating to waste management by the waste generator, use of plastic carry bags, plastic sheets or like, covers made of plastic sheets and multilayered packaging in the rural area of the State or a Union Territory.
(4) The authorities referred to in sub-rules (1) to (3) shall take the assistance of the District Magistrate or the Deputy Commissioner within the territorial limits of the jurisdiction of the concerned district in the enforcement of the provisions of these rules.
Further in rule 15 i.e. in Explicit pricing of carry bags it is written (Sec 1-3): (1) The shopkeepers and street vendors willing to provide plastic carry bags for dispensing any commodity shall register with local body. The local body shall, within a period of six months from the date of final publication of these rules ion the Official Gazette of India notification of these rules, by notification or an order under their appropriate state statute or byelaws shall make provisions for such registration on payment of plastic waste management fee of minimum rupees forty eight thousand @ rupees four thousand per month. The concerned local body may prescribe higher plastic waste management fee, depending upon the sale capacity. The registered shop keepers shall display at prominent place that plastic carry bags are given on payment.
(2) Only the registered shopkeepers or street vendors shall be eligible to provide plastic carry bags for dispensing the commodities.
(3) The local body shall utilize the amount paid by the customers for the carry bags exclusively for the sustainability of the waste management system within their jurisdictions.
Photo: The writer with two plastic filled pet bottle or ecobrick, as a solution to plastic menace (look for our upcoming article on Ecobricks)