The plastic waste management rules 2016 have been amended to speed up the elimination of single-use plastics and promote alternatives. The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 aimed to:
- Increase the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags from 40 to 50 microns and stipulate minimum thickness of 50 microns for plastic sheets also to facilitate collection and recycle of plastic waste, Expand the jurisdiction of applicability from the municipal area to rural areas, because plastic has reached rural areas also;
- To bring in the responsibilities of producers and generators, both in the plastic waste management system and to introduce collect back system of plastic waste by the producers/brand owners, as per extended producers responsibility;
- To introduce a collection of plastic waste management fees through pre-registration of the producers, importers of plastic carry bags/multilayered packaging, and vendors selling the same for establishing the waste management system;
- To promote the use of plastic waste for road construction as per Indian Road Congress guidelines or energy recovery, or waste to oil, etc. for gainful utilization of waste and also address the waste disposal issue; to entrust more responsibility on waste generators, namely payment of user charge as prescribed by the local authority, collection and handing over of waste by the institutional generator, event organizers.
However, the implementation of these rules was not so effective because the ambit of these rules was limited to notified municipal areas whereas today, the plastic has reached our rural areas also. There were no provisions on the responsibility of waste generators and did not address the promotion of conversion of waste to useful resources.