The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has pulled up the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for a three-year delay in drawing up a national framework for recycling of plastic waste by brand owners and plastic producers. The observation comes at a time when the government has launched a campaign against single-use plastic.
In an order uploaded on its website on Friday, the tribunal directed the ministry to finalise the guidelines within two months. It was hearing a petition by Jitendra Yadav, an Uttarakhand resident, seeking direction over extended producer responsibility (EPR), under which plastic producers and brand owners are required to recycle their plastic waste.
NGT’s four-member principal bench chaired by A K Goel said, “It will be appropriate that the MoEF&CC concludes the long pending issue of framing a national framework on EPR within two months instead of adopting long winding procedure which has been going on for more than two years, in spite of the enactment of the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules more than three years ago.”
It showed its dissatisfaction over inconclusive meetings held by an expert committee appointed by the ministry on extended producer responsibility. “The last such meeting was held on 31.05.2019. The minutes of the meeting do not indicate any tangible action beyond recording suggestions. The minutes of the meeting also show that except a joint secretary, all other participants representing government are of junior level,” observed the bench.