NGT directs govt to finalise EPR regime within 3 months, says plastic waste serious hazard
The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests to finalise the “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR) regime for plastic waste within three months as the steps taken by it were “too slow”.
The head of the bench, NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said unscientific management of plastic waste is a serious hazard for the environment and public health.
The bench said, “Regretfully, steps taken by the MoEF for finalising EPR regime are too slow. We note that the PWM Rules were framed in the year 2016 in place of 2011 Rules. There is no justification for long delay in finalisation of EPR models even after more than four years of the publication of the Rules. The same may now be finalised at the earliest, preferably within three months.”
The Central Compensation Pollution Control Board (CPCB), proposed the Environmental Compensation and Penal Action Regime. This may be duly implemented by the state PCB’s, State Level Monitoring Committees and all other concerned authorities.
“CPCB may continue to coordinate with the State Level Monitoring Committees, the State PCBs/PCCs or any other authorities with reference to the steps taken by the State Level Monitoring Committees in coordinating with the concerned Local Bodies, Gram Panchayats, Waste Generators, Producers, Importers, Brand Owners, Recyclers, Manufactures, Retailers and Street Vendors in accordance with the rules. Whenever, necessary CPCB may issue further directions from time to time in the light of experiences gained considering different suggestions and viewpoints, including the suggestions of the Oversight Committee for State of UP.” the tribunal added.
EPR or Extended Producer Responsibility comes under Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016. Under EPR, the manufacturers are responsible for the treatment, recycling, reuse or disposal of products after a consumer has used and disposed them. NGT said that state level authorities should also take necessary effective steps for enforcement of the regime.
On June 30, 2016, CPCB issued proper guidelines to various municipal bodies under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. But till date the bodies have paid no attention to it.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by CPCB alleging that states were not paying heed to the seriousness and ill effects caused by plastic.