India bans plastic scrap imports

India bans plastic scrap imports

Ministry of Environment announces all imports of plastic scrap will be prohibited.

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March 6, 2019

In a step toward "fighting against plastic waste," the government of India has completely banned plastic scrap imports. The ban affects U.S. exports of more than 12,000 metric tons of material worth more than $46 million, according to  the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MOEFCC) announced the ban on Twitter on March 6. According to the Twitter feed, the Management and Trans-boundary Movement, amended March 1, prohibits materials from entering Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Oriented Units (EOUs), where they previously had been permitted.

After China’s import ban, India has emerged as one of the largest importers of plastic scrap; however; the country doesn’t have the infrastructure or capacity to process all of the tons of plastic scrap entering the country, officials say.

Under the hazardous waste rules, “white category industries will have to hand over hazardous wastes generated to authorized users, waste collectors or disposal facilities.”

The amendment also aims to boost the “Make in India” initiative by exempting silk waste exporters from “requiring permission from the ministry.” In addition, “electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India don’t require permission from the ministry for import” if found defective.

A Twitter user commented on the post, asking, “What will be the fate of the existing plastic recycling companies located in SEZ and EOU” zones?

The timeline of when the new policy will be implemented is unknown.