Environment Ministry plugs loophole that allowed plastic waste import -Jacob Koshy

-The Indian Express

PET bottles imported for processing in SEZs had increased substantially.

New Delhi:
The government has plugged a loophole that allowed the import of plastic waste into India for processing.

“…Solid plastic waste has been prohibited from import into the country including in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU),” the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) said in an order made public on Wednesday. The change in law was part of the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Amendment Rules, 2019.

The Hindu had reported on January 21 that India, in spite of having a significant plastic pollution load of its own, and a ban on plastic waste imports, imported PET bottles from abroad for processing in Special Economic Zones (SEZ).

The influx of PET bottles has quadrupled from 2017 to 2018, the Delhi-based environmentalist organisation, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Smriti Manch (PDUSM) had pointed out in January.

“Indian firms are importing plastic scraps from China, Italy, Japan and Malawi for recycling and the imports of PET bottle scrap & flakes has increased from 12,000 tonnes in FY 16-17 to 48,000 tonnes in FY 17-18 growing @ 290%. India has already imported 25,000 MT in the first 3 months of FY 18-19,” a note by the organisation revealed.

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The Hindu, 6 March, 2019, https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/environment-ministry-plugs-loophole-that-allowed-plastic-waste-import/article26449791.ece?homepage=true

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