Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has amended Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016. The amendments are aimed at strengthening implementation of environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in the country.
Salient features of Amendments
- Solid plastic waste: It has been prohibited from import into country including in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU).
- Export of silk waste: These exports have been given exemption from requiring permission from MoEFCC.
- Electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India: If these are found defective, they can be imported back into country, within year of export, without obtaining permission from MoEFCC.
- Exemption of industries: It exempts industries that do not require consent under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 from requiring authorization under these rules.
- However, this exemption will be provided only if hazardous and other wastes generated by such industries are handed over to authorized actual users, waste collectors or disposal facilities.
Significance of amendments
- They have been made keeping into consideration ease of doing business and boosting make in India initiative by simplifying procedures under the Rules.
- It also upholds principles of sustainable development and ensuring minimal impact on the environment while providing exemptions.
- The amendments to these rule for banning of solid plastic waste comes year after China, world’s biggest plastic scrap importer stopped import from western countries.
- After Chinese, ban southeast Asian countries had become major hub of scrap plastic recycling, imported to Asian countries including India from US and European countries as they don’t have enough capacity to recycle it.
- This surge in plastic import had affected India’s domestic plastic recycling industry and environment due dumping of plastic waste from other countries.
- India is among the world’s top 10 plastic scrap importers and its plastic imports from 50 countries stood at Rs. 306 crore in 2016-17.