- March 31, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Context- Import of plastic bottles for waste processing allowed.
- After banning the import of plastic waste in 2019, the Environment Ministry has permitted containers made of polyethylene terephthalate, as plastic waste, to be imported for processing.
- The decision to roll back the ban was taken last year after representations by several industries in the business of processing waste said there was too little waste available for them in India and this was causing them ﬁnancial losses.
- An expert committee of the Environment Ministry, last December, recommended that ﬁrms which had applied for permission could import polyethylene terephthalate ﬂakes and bottles up to 50% of their production capacity.
- Polyethylene terephthalate is a category of plastic, and nearly 90% of the domestic supply of containers using them is already recycled.
- As per the industry data, more than 14 lakh tonnes of such plastic are consumed annually in India, and even with a global highest 80% recycling rate, approx. 2.8 lakh tonnes of plastic bottles waste never gets collected.
- While the whole world is banning such imports to strengthen local plastic waste management, India would have been the ﬁrst country to re-allow the import of plastic waste.
- The main aim is to increase the collection of local waste. Our country’s waste must be recycled ﬁrst, before importing waste from other countries to make textiles/recycled products.
- PET is short for polyethylene terephthalate, the chemical name for polyester.
- PET is a clear, strong, and lightweight plastic that is widely used for packaging foods and beverages, especially convenience-sized soft drinks, juices and water.
- It is also popular for packaging salad dressings, peanut butter, cooking oils, mouthwash, shampoo, liquid hand soap, window cleaner, even tennis balls.
- Special grades of PET are used for carry-home food containers and prepared food trays that can be warmed in the oven or microwave.
- The basic building blocks of PET are ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid, which are combined to form a polymer chain.
*** For further reading refer to https://optimizeias.com/latest-regulation-on-plastic-waste-management/