Strict rule on Bioplastic

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Source-This post on Strict rule on Bioplastic has been created based on the article “Ministry of Environment tightens rules on bioplastics” published in “The Hindu” on 21 March 2024.

Why in the news?

The Environment Ministry has recently introduced rules that make it harder for makers of disposable plastic ware to label such products as ‘biodegradable’. It has introduced a stipulation that makers of disposable plastic ware must not leave any microplastics behind.

What are the broad kinds of technological fixes to address India’s plastic waste pollution?

Plastic waste pollution
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Biodegradable plastic-It involves plastic goods being treated before they are sold.

Compostable plastics-They degrade, but require industrial or large municipal waste management facilities to do so.

What are the recent changes?

As per new amendments to India’s Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2024, biodegradable plastics will be defined as materials which are not only capable of degradation by biological processes in specific environment such as soil, landfill but also as materials that do not leave any microplastics.

What are the issues with recent changes?

1) The rules do not specify which chemical tests can be used to establish the absence of microplastics.

2)The rules do not specify that up to what extent microplastics must be reduced in a sample in order to consider them eliminated.

3) Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)  has refused to provide makers of disposable plastic ware with a ‘provisional certificate’ to license their products as biodegradable.

Read more-Solid waste management

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