[ZWM] The "Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011": Extended Producers Responsibility and the possible Mechanism of Cleaning up India of all trash.
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Hello ZWMB group members! Most of you would know that the Ministry of Environment and Forest has introduced the " Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rule, 2011" on 4th February.( Link: http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/DOC070211-005.pdf). Some of the significant points of the rule are. 1. Ban on use of Plastic Packaging for Tobacco Products like gutka and paan masala. 2. Plastic bags cannot be given free of charge to the customers. 3. Every Plastic bag has to bear the manufacturers Name and Registration Number. 4. The manufacturers are to make provision for collecting the waste generated by their products under "Extended Producers Responsibility". 5. Individual State Pollution Control Board are to make rules and bye- laws to implement the "Plastic Waste" Rule. These provisions in the "Rule" are significant and opens the door to radical solutions to clean up the nation of all manufactured trash. The most important clause is the introduction of the "Extended Producers Responsibility" Principle for the first time in India. The Principle means that the producers are also responsible for cleaning up the waste created by their products at the end of life-cycle. It is a well established principle in the developed world; this principle leads to a variety of laws which mandates companies to have take-back program for electronics, recycling fees, container deposit etc. The "Rule" does not explicitly mention the mechanism of implementation of the provisions. It is left to the state pollution control boards. We can use this opportunity to think up practical strategies and policies and communicate it with the Karnataka Pollution Control Board. I have created and pilot tested a Monetary Incentive based manufactured waste management system called CleanCredit. The idea behind the mechanism is that the trash problem in India is a creation of the billion people and it can only be solved if all or a significant majority of the billion plus population take part in managing the waste. Getting even a million people to participate is difficult leave alone billions. But there are instances where almost every Indian Participates eg. Old Newspaper and Beer Bottles. One can rarely if ever find these items in the landfills. This is because these items have significant monetary value. ( Rs 2 per beer bottle, Rs 7 per Kg of Newspaper). Now if we could somehow put significant residual value ( >= Rs 1) on every trash in India eg (PET bottle, plastic bags, packaging etc) these items too would be picked up. But how does one put value into relatively worthless items? In fact it can happen, consider a Rs 500/- currency note. It is actually a piece of paper which has no value but it can have a value of Rs 500/- because there is supposed to be an equivalent deposit lying with the RBI which the RBI governor promises to pay the bearer. Similarly if we had a deposit of Rs 1 for every product manufactured, they too could be valued at Rs 1 or whatever is the deposit amount. The CleanCredit mechanism works exactly on the same principles. It makes every manufactured product waste worth some significant money. And one could redeem the trash at any retail shop in India. The CleanCredit mechanism if implemented on the National Scale would 1. Clean up the whole nation in a very short time 2. Create a zero waste society, Everything collected would be segregated at source therefore could be recycled or disposed easily. 3. Create more than 20 million relatively clean jobs at the BoP paying Rs 1 lakh per job per annum on the average. All this for no cost to the government. For more info visit www.facebook.com/CleanCredit Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 9379180369 About me: I am a PhD student in Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
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