The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has recommended that at least one district in every State should be made a model for compliance of Plastic Waste Management Rules (PWM) rules in the first instance.
“At least one district in every State should be made a model for compliance of PWM rules in the first instance and thereafter, the entire State should be made so compliant,” the NGT bench headed by its chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel said.
State Pollution Control Boards (PCBs)/Pollution Control Committee (PCCs), in coordination with State Level Monitoring Committees, need to involve the District Magistrates and other concerned local authorities for effective enforcement of the statutory regime, the bench said.
It also asked the Chairman and Member Secretary, CPCB to hold periodic meetings by video conferencing with the Chairman and Member Secretaries of all the State Boards/Committees on the subject to work out enforcement strategies, including action plans in all the Districts, involving Educational, Religious and other Institutions in the interest of public health and protection of the environment.
The bench asked the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the CPCB to file an action taken reports before the next date and listed the matter for further hearing on October 14.
The NGT was hearing CPCB plea relating to not compliance of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 (PWM Rules).
Directions issued by the CPCB on June 30, 2016, to implement the thickness norms for carry bags, the constitution of squads for vigilance, preventing littering of plastic waste in public, submission of annual reports and action plan for management, quantification and characterization in every city/town of all the States/UTs.
The Rules lay down conditions for manufacture, import, stocking, distribution sale and use of carry bags, plastic sheets, multilayer packaging etc. and waste management. Responsibilities are assigned to local bodies, waste generators, producers, importers and brand owners. Provisions including protocols for compostable plastic material, marking, labelling have also been made.
State pollution control boards are the authorities for enforcement. There is a provision for registration for manufacturers, producers and recyclers. Responsibility is also assigned to retailers and street vendors. State-level monitoring Committees are to be constituted.
The NGT observed that the MoEF&CC is yet to finalise its policy though the CPCB has already given its report on the subject. The NGT noted that no one appeared for the MoEF&CC and said that “the MoEF&CC is ignoring even most serious environmental issues which are very unfortunate.
“Let Secretary, MoEF&CC look into the matter and take remedial action. However, we have come across the draft of ‘Guidelines Document’ on ‘Uniform Framework for Extended Producers Responsibility (Under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016)’, seeking comments till July 31, 2020. It is not clear whether the policy has been so far finalised or not,” the NGT said.