The State Board organised a day-long meeting on “Fulfilment of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)” under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 today on 26th September 2023 with Producers/ Importers/ Brand Owners (PIBOs), Waste Management Agencies (WMA) and Plastic Waste Processors (PWPs) (Co-processor, Waste to Energy Recyclers), Municipal Commissioners and other representatives of Urban Local Bodies.
Our Regional Officers from various parts of the state and Executive Officers from Urban Local Bodies also participated in the meeting online. This is worthwhile to note that Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is the concept that brands, plastic packaging producers and importers must take responsibility for the plastic they put into a market across its entire lifecycle.
The meeting was chaired by Sanjay Gupta (IAS) Chairman, Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board. In his inaugural address he emphasised that management of plastic is of utmost importance, hence its proper management should be done by making it a part of circular economy and in accordance with the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016. He further added that plastic is being littered haphazardly which is polluting our environment and also plastic is being consumed by animals which has increased the death mortality rate among animals. Sh. Anil Joshi (IFS) Member Secretary HP State Pollution Control Board said in his opening remarks that MoEF&CC GOI notified guidelines for the Extended Producer Responsibilities under Plastic Waste Amendment Rules, 2022 on 16th February 2022. The Guidelines stipulate mandatory targets on EPR, recycling of plastic packaging waste, reuse of plastic packaging and use of recycled plastic content. Further he emphasised that this is high time that PIBOs should meet EPR target. They must fulfil their targets by ensuring that the plastic waste generated by introducing their products in market is processed through registered Plastic Waste Processors and set up infrastructure facilities such as collection points, MRF facilities as mandated under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. He further informed that Main elements of EPR Guidelines are on Processing of Plastic Packaging Waste, fulfilling annual targets for based on plastic waste introduced in market, obligations for recycle, use of recycle content and End of life disposal. Sh. Chandan Singh Environmental Engineer gave a detailed presentation on EPR guidelines laid under PWM Rules, 2016. He further outlined the present status of EPR liabilities and fulfilment by PIBOs and Plastic Waste Management Agencies/Recyclers etc. Shri Satpal Dhiman Addl. Secretary to the Env. Science, Technology and Environment to the GoHP said that some NGOs have also come forward and doing their bits in collections of plastics from several parts of the State. Sh. Jagan Thakur, Additional Director, Urban Development Department highlighted the problems being faced in the ways of effective plastic waste management in the State which included lack of manpower, financial constraints, huge cost of transportation of Refuse Derived Fraction (RDF) to cement plants and unauthorised dumping of waste by nearby panchayats in ULBs. The MC Commissioner Solan Sh. Jafar Iqbal said that MC Solan is efficiently managing plastic waste. Daily door to door collection is being ensured and public grievance is addressed swiftly. Waste is 100 percent processed and nothing goes to landfill. EPR Model Ghaziabad was also discussed and is considered as one of the successful models in the country and the Central Pollution Control Board also requested this State Board to direct each PIBOs and ULBs to replicate the model as the model emerged as economically viable.
Subsequently each PIBO coming from different parts of the State namely Nestle, Sun pharma, Kandhari Beverages, Marico, Mankind Pharma, Mondlelez India Food, Procter & Gamble, Hindustan Unilever, Cipla, Dabur, ITC, Colgate, Pidilite, Ambuja, Ultratech along with Waste Management Agencies and Plastic Waste Processor (i.e. Recycler, Cement Plant, Waste to Energy Plant) submitted their progress with respect to their targets, achievements and also highlighted problems being faced by them in fulfilling EPR labilities and meeting targets. Further all PIBOs were directed to either set up waste collection system or offer collection of plastic, from the entities like urban local bodies, gram panchayats, and other public authorities.
PIBOs were asked to collaborate with our major urban local bodies through waste management agencies and work out modalities of effective collection, segregation, and processing of plastic waste through registered plastic waste processors and report their progress through online portals. They were asked to submit their status with respect to collection of plastic wastes, processing status and tie up with recyclers within State of Himachal Pradesh in compliance to the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. Decision waste taken to also rope in the rural areas wherein small plastic waste management units are established/ proposed to be installed. Waste Management Agencies were directed to submit complete detail of the agreement with PIBOs, detail of collection, transportation and category wise processing of Plastic Waste from Himachal Pradesh.
The meeting ended with thanks from the Chair.