Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) was introduced in Plastic Waste Management Rules in 2016. Thus, terrifying the companies might lose their license if they don’t obey the rules. EPR design helps to integrate the actual environmental costs of the products throughout their lifecycle.
EPR not only includes plastic waste management but any product which can harm the environment, like EEE products. Read further to know the importance of EPR and compliance with Plastic Waste Management.
Corporate responsibility and its applications
Commonly the producers were only responsible for the production and selling of the product, but everything changed with the establishment of EPR. There were added responsibilities for producers as now they have to manage the product’s end of life.
EPR schemes have two main intentions:
- Sharing the responsibility of the physical, organizational, and financial aspects of the products with the government and producers. The municipal corporation was no longer the only body handling waste management, so now it was a divided authority.
- Providing incentives to the manufacturers to produce eco-friendly resource-efficient products with low impact
Plastic Waste Management Rules
The Plastic Waste Management Rules,2016, the responsibilities are divided according to the various bodies :
1. Urban Local Bodies:
- Plastic waste, which is recycled, should be sent to recyclers, and recycling should be done according to the Indian standards.
- The plastic which is not recycled is useful for road constructions.
- Thermoset plastic should be processed and disposed of according to the guidelines of CPCB.
- The recycling facilities should dispose of the inserts of plastic waste according to the Solid Waste Management Rule, 2000.
2. Local Body
- According to the rules, local bodies are responsible for the development and infrastructure for storage, collection, segregation, transportation, processing, and plastic waste disposal.
- Local bodies will look after the setup, operations, and coordination of the waste management system.
- Frame the bylaws, which include the provisions of the PWM rules.
3. Gram Panchayat:
- Panchayat, on its own or with the help of an agency, coordinates the waste management in rural areas.
- Ensuring collection, segregation, and channelization of recyclable plastic that will not harm the environment during the process
- To create awareness among the stakeholders about their responsibility and to avoid the burning of plastic.
EPR is a broader concept
Extended Producer Responsibility is not just about complying with PWM rules. A well designed EPR scheme can provide several economic, social, and environmental benefits.
Environmental:EPR supports the environmentally sound treatment of waste products. Developing various innovations for manufacturers in designing the product to reduce or remove the harmful components can boost the rates of reusing and recycling of products.
- Reduced cost of recycled material by ensuring sorted collection of waste
- Reduction in waste management cost to government and consumers
- Providing a higher quality of secondary raw material with better collection and processing
Social:By applying the Polluters Pay principle, place more responsibilities on the producers. The decrease in mismanaged waste ratings decreases any potential health risk due to chemicals.
Recycling and dustbin narrative is not enough to manage the amount of destruction caused by plastics. Introducing EPR schemes in PWM rules came as a ray of hope to manage the plastic crisis all over the world.