Plas­tic buy­back de­layed

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

im­pos­ing a ban on sin­gle-use plas­tic, Ma­ha­rash­tra was gear­ing up to im­ple­ment a buy­back scheme for PET (polyethy­lene tereph­tha­late) bot­tles and plas­tic milk pouches be­gin­ning July 11. But, the move—which would have been the first of its kind in In­dia—has been de­ferred till Au­gust af­ter man­u­fac­tur­ers failed to sub­mit their plans for col­lec­tion and re­cy­cling de­spite three months given to them for the same. Under the scheme, a de­posit paid to a re­tailer will be re­turned on hand­ing bot­tles or pouches back to the store. In a no­ti­fi­ca­tion, the gov­ern­ment has man­dated man­u­fac­tur­ers to take the re­spon­si­bil­ity for their pro­duce by setting up col­lec­tion and re­cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture. But the lack of clar­ity in the guide­lines for re­cy­cling, high de­posit rates, short­age of re­cy­cling ca­pac­ity and lack of in­cen­tives threaten the ef­fec­tive­ness of the scheme, ex­perts say. The state is also plan­ning some­thing sim­i­lar for tetra packs and re­tail pack­ag­ing in three months even as it eased the ban against sin­gle-use plas­tic, just over a week af­ter im­pos­ing it. The move of al­low­ing e-commerce firms to use plas­tic pack­ag­ing for three more months was blamed on in­tense lob­by­ing by multi­na­tional com­pa­nies and plas­tic in­dus­try bod­ies, a Reuters re­port said.

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