The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued directions to the chairpersons of all state pollution control boards (SPCBs)/pollution control committees (PCCs) for setting up of institutional mechanism as well as taking up steps for enforcement of provisions of Plastic Waste Management Rules.
The apex body has observed that although the PWM Rules were notified in 2016, its implementation remains inadequate and strengthening of enforcement was required.
As per directions issued on October 9, SPCBs/PCCs are required to submit periodic progress report regarding implementation of mechanism and enforcement that include issuing of public notice for identification of unregistered units, plastic units operational in non-confirming areas and units manufacturing carry bags less than 50-micron thickness, creation of public grievance cell for registration and resolution of complaints and launching awareness programmes for the public.
Requirement for strengthening of surveillance to check littering of plastic waste, specifically in the prominent public places, has also been stated in the direction.
The NGT, in its direction, in December 6, 2019 had emphasised on establishment of institutional mechanism to ensure that no unregistered plastic unit is operational and no such unit is running in non-conforming residential areas. Further the enforcement mechanism had to be in place to restrict the production and availability of plastic bags less than 50-micron thickness and had asked the CPCB to submit compliance report.
In compliance report submitted to NGT, the CPCB had stated that 25 states and union territories (UT) have provided information as regards major action points which include the number of unregistered plastic units and number of such units in non-conforming/residential areas.
However, the board did not satisfy with the information provided by the states and asked for setting up of institutional mechanism as well as taking steps for enforcement of provisions of PWM Rules.
The report stated that around 615 unregistered plastic units were reported in these states and UTs but number of such units may be much higher in the country.
Moreover, all the states/UTs have confirmed that they have banned the production of carry bags and plastic sheets of thickness of less than 50 micron, however, such products are commonly found in circulation. Goa government informed there is no complete ban on carry
On littering of plastics in public places and setting up of special environmental squad, around 19 states/UTs have confirmed that thermocol/polystyrene cups, plates are not used extensively and haphazardly littered.
About 22 states/UTs have confirmed that special environmental squad has been set up for enforcement to oversee and ensure that no littering of plastic waste takes place, but such littering continues to be a common sight in the country, observed the CPCB.