Ministry plugs loophole that allowed plastic waste import

• The government has amended the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Trans-boundary Movement) Rules, 2016.

• The rules deals with environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes.

Key highlights

• Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Trans-boundary Movement) Amendment Rules, 2019 has prohibited import of solid plastic waste to India including in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU). Previously, Hazardous Waste Management rules 2016 had allowed companies located in SEZs to import solid plastic waste. Import of plastic waste was also allowed by EOUs.

• The Rules have exempted exporters of silk waste from requiring permission from the Environment Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

• The rules have also mentioned that electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India, if found defective, can be imported back into India, within a year of export, without obtaining permission from the Environment Ministry.

• Under other amendments in the rules, white category industries exempted from
requiring authorization also under the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Trans-boundary Movement) Rules, 2016, provided hazardous and other wastes generated in their units are handed over to authorised users, waste collectors or disposal facilities.

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Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Prelims level: Features of the Amendment rules

Mains level: Issues related to plastic waste disposal in India

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