1. What are the Waste Management Rules 2016
2. What is multi-layered packaging waste?
3. What happens to the MLP waste after it is disposed off?
4. What is Extended Producer Responsibility?
5. What is the solution for this?
What are the Waste Management Rules 2016
Waste Management Rules 2016 is a comprehensive set of six different Rules covering most sectors from which waste is generated. It includes SWM Rules and Plastic Waste Management Rules. You can refer the complete set of Rules here.
What is multi-layered packaging (MLP) waste?
Multi-layered packaging (MLP) is the packaging used for all kinds of articles of daily consumption, wafer, biscuits, snacks, shampoos, hand wash refill, chocolates etc. The items shown in pictures below are a few examples. Millions of such items are consumed daily and the packaging disposed off after a single use.
It is a modified form of plastic which makes it stronger, air tight and water tight and hence suitable for the purpose of storing many food items. But it is also not recyclable and has to be disposed after a single use, unlike a polythene carry bag which can theoretically be used many times over.
What happens to MLP waste after it is disposed?
After you throw any MLP waste item into the dustbin it travels to the local community bin and from there to the dumping grounds. Because it is very light in nature it easily gets dispersed with wind and water. You can find it in forests, drains, rivers and seas. And even in the stomach of animals.
Rag pickers do not pick up MLP waste because it has no sale value like for PET bottles and some other waste items.
What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)?
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a rule in the Waste Management Rules that expects FMCG companies to take responsibility for the waste generated by their products. A wafer selling company is responsible for the empty packet, which becomes litter after one use. A biscuit company is responsible for its empty packet. They cannot just sell the products, make profit from it and leave waste for society to handle.
Extended Producer Responsibility is now a clause in the Waste Management Rules. The relevant excerpt is below
What is the solution for MLP waste?
The first step towards a solution is to not mix MLP waste with regular waste. This is not recyclable waste please remember. Safai Bank is a means to ensure highly segregated collection of this waste to ensure that it can be disposed as per the solutions listed in the Waste Management Rules 2016.
The solutions listed in the Rules are
- Use in Asphalt Roads
- Co-processing by burning in cement kilns
Following links below will be useful to understand
- Ministry of Highways and Road Transport and Highways circular mandating the use of plastic waste in asphalt roads. Read Use of Plastics Waste in Road Construction Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,GOI
- Article below on the person who began the use of plastics in roads.
Roads Made of Plastic Waste in India? Yes! Meet the Professor Who Pioneered the Technique.
3. Use in cement kilns – this is an example of a venture by one of the cement companies – https://www.geocycle.com/india