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India to Ban Import of Plastic Waste from August 2019

On June 24th, in Rajya Sabha, India’s environment minister Prakash Javadekar outlined policy steps India will take to curb pollution including an upcoming ban on import of plastic waste starting from August 2019. During the Q&A session the minister explained that 20000 tonnes of plastic wastes get generated every day in India that only 13000-14000 tonnes are collected.

India had previously made plans to ban import of plastic waste early in 2015 but backpedaled and continued to allow special economic zones and export-oriented enterprise to import plastic waste in 2016. With the amendment to Hazardous and Other Waste (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, the special economic zones and export-oriented enterprise will no longer be allowed to import plastic waste.

India’s ban on import of plastic waste will certainly bring challenges for the global waste plastic recycling sector, as Western countries struggle to find suitable destinations for their plastic waste. India is just the latest in a line of countries in Asia which have banned import of plastic waste (see relevant CL News [1]). Interestingly the volume of plastic waste exported by India increased from 12000 tons to 48000 tons in the 2017/18 financial year.

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