New Delhi — A push for extended producer responsibility policies for plastic waste in India will be a boon for plastics recycling, according to companies at Plastindia 2023.
"India will be getting more mature towards plastic recycling, with government policies formalized with the new EPR guidelines, said Nitin Gupta, CEO of Steer Engineering in Bengaluru. "Recycling will get the required push. Plastic recycling has to grow. Otherwise, how many more landfills are to be created."
In early 2022, India's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, unveiled guidelines for plastic packaging EPR that stipulates mandatory targets for recycling of plastic packaging waste, reuse of rigid plastic containers and use of recycled content.
It sets recycling rate targets of 30-50 percent for various plastic packaging by 2025, along with recycled plastic content requirements of 5-30 percent.
The recycling rate target for rigid plastic, starting at 50 percent in 2025, will rise to 80 percent by 2028 under the plan.
The government told the Indian parliament recently that more than 5,000 producers, importers and brand owners have registered on its EPR portal, along with about 1,600 plastic waste processors.
Hiten Bheda, chairman of the Environment Committee at the All India Plastics Manufacturers Association, said large companies have made sizable investments in plastics recycling in recent months but that smaller firms have some competitive disadvantages.
"The new EPR program favors large companies and is biased towards micro, small and medium plastic packaging producers as it is difficult for them in adhering to compliance," he said.