Is EPR Certification mandatory in India?

Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR is a statutory tool used by governments around the world. EPR helps brands and producers in implementing a cradle-to-grave model which will drastically reduce the dependence on virgin resources. India proposed the implementation of EPR with the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. So is EPR Certification necessary in India?

The answer is YES, it is necessary for Producers, Importers, and Brand Owners (PIBOs) to have an EPR certification.

Why is EPR Certification necessary?

Not just as a policy tool, EPR certification is necessary for many ways. Speaking from the environment, brands, governments, and consumers’ point of view, EPR will streamline and help address the growing issues in the country. The below-listed reasons are not specific to India, many parts of the world have introduced a mandatory implementation of EPR.

Rising Plastic and e-waste

India generates more than 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste per year. More than 45% of the waste generated remains uncollected. The amount of plastic waste generated is expected to rapidly increase by 2030. On the other hand, e-waste generation in India has nearly doubled since 2015. With the advent of the pandemic, the expected rise in e-waste is said to double in the years to come.

Rising e-waste numbers in India from 2015 to 2019
Rising e-waste numbers in India from 2015 to 2019. Source: CSE India

Around 43% of plastic manufactures in India is used for packaging and mostly as single-use plastic. In a recent development, the CPCB announced a ban on single-use plastic in India starting from January 2022. The current status of single-use plastic in India is changing since the introduction of the ban.

Streamlining waste management

The waste management framework under EPR requires PIBOs to set up efficient waste collection, and recycling practices. Brands like DOW, Unilever, and others have partnered with Recykal to set up awareness drives, collection points, and recycling centers for the waste generated from their brands.

Shifting waste management towards ‘Upstream’

In the present scenario, the waste generated is managed by the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) or the local municipalities. With the introduction of EPR, waste management is shifted towards ‘upstream’. To be precise, the waste generated is and must be managed by PIBOs in their respective jurisdictions based on the 3 models listed by CPCB:

  • Fee-based Model
  • PRO Model
  • Plastic Credit Model

Linear to Circular Economy

The most important aspect would be creating a circular economy from the existing linear economy. The recovery of resources from efficient recycling will help create the much-needed circular economy in the country. In the case of e-waste recycling or a circular economy will help recover precious metals and reduce the need for ore extractions. On the other hand, a circular economy will help protect and preserve the environment from the harmful effects of improper disposal.

A shift from linear to a circular economy will help reduce the waste generated and stress on raw materials
A shift from a linear to a circular economy will help reduce the waste generated and stress on raw materials

In conclusion, the above-listed reasons are a few of the many as to why EPR is mandatory in India.

How can PIBOs get their EPR Certification?

Our recent blog on ‘EPR Registration for Plastic waste in India’ will give you an insight into the process of EPR Registration, Action Plan, Implementation, and Certification. To make the process seamless, our team of experts at Recykal is at your disposal. We ensure transparent, traceable, and reliable services through our digital platform EPR Loop.

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