According to the Economic Times, the Indian government has banned the import of solid plastic waste and scrap into the country.
Imports were partly banned as India allowed it in special economic zones (SEZ), and imports of plastic waste/scrap was also allowed by export oriented units (EOU), which used to acquire it from abroad as post-recycling resources.
However, the country has now prohibited the import of solid plastic waste by amending the Hazardous Waste Rules, meaning that neither SEZ or EOU’s will be allowed to import the materials.
Announcing the move on twitter, India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said: “Taking India’s commitment to fight against plastic pollution further, India bans import of solid plastic waste/scrap into the country.”
It continued to state that silk waste exports are exempted from requiring permission from the Environment Ministry, and that “white category industries are now exempted from requiring authorization under the Hazardous Wastes Rules”.
This move is part of the Make in India initiative.
White category industries now have to hand over hazardous wastes generated to authorized users, waste collectors or disposal facilities. Electric and electric assemblies and components that are manufactured in and exported from India do not require permission from the Ministry for import if found defective, said the government.
An environment ministry official added that the rules were changed with keeping in mind the gap between the waste generation and the recycling capacity in the country, and also India’s commitment to phasing out single-use plastic by 2022, said the Economic Times.