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Will the Developed Country gets affected by India's Complete Ban on Plastic Scrap Import?

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by - 4/11/2019 865 Views

Considering the hazards of plastic waste, the India government has completely imposed a ban on the import of solid plastics scraps including SEZ and EOUs by amending the Hazardous Waste Rules on March 1 2019, said the Environment Ministry official.

Bottle Scraps

Misuse of Partial Ban:

The import was partially banned earlier in 2016 by excluding the SEZ and EOU. The provision of partial ban was misused by many companies on the pretext of being in an SEZ. This loophole made several companies to carry out an illegal business. The amendment on the plastic ban was aimed to create a sustainable development and to cause minimal impact on the environment. The rules were exempted for the exporters of Silk waste and the White Industries were asked to hand over the waste generated to the authorized users or the waste collectors.

Inadequate Recycling Capacity:

A few years ago, India emerged as one of the world’s largest importer of plastic scraps. Nearly, 25940 tonnes of plastic scraps were generated by India daily, out of which only 40% of the scraps were being recycled and reused. The remaining were found on the street and water bodies. This is mainly due to the gap between waste generation and recycling capacity. Due to the inadequate of recycling capacity, a large amount of waste remained uncollected causing damage to soil and water bodies. It is found that India consumes about 13 million tonnes of plastic and recycles only about 4 million tonnes. In the FY 2016-2017 India imported 12000 metric tonnes of PET bottle scraps and flakes which increased to 48000 metric tonnes in FY 2017-2018. India already imported 25000 MT in the first three months of FY 18-19. This increasing import rate is due to the availability and cheaper cost of plastic scraps. Also, the restriction on plastic scraps imposed by China is also one of the factors for the increase in import rate.

India moved after China:

More than 20 years, China was the top importer of plastic scraps. In 2016, it processed about 7.3 million tons of plastic waste and turned them into new products. In 2018, China told the World Trade Organization that no longer it will be an importer of plastic scraps. Also, it banned the import of 24 categories of solid wastes. The countries like US, UK, EU and Japan had been the largest exporters of scrap plastic to China until the ban came to force in 2018. Due to this restriction, exporters of plastic scraps were affected heavily. Britain alone exported about 500,000 tons of plastic scraps to China for processing. The affected countries looked for other countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to dump their scraps. Some of the countries started importing the plastics from the western countries, one among them was India. India emerged as the top importer of plastic scraps but it couldn’t match China when compared to its size and processing capacity.

A Challenge to the United State:

Following china’s plastic ban in January 2018, India became the largest importer of US scrap plastic. India imported nearly 294 million pounds of plastic scrap from the US last year, which is high compared to 271 million pounds in 2017 and 203 million pounds in 2016. India’s plastic scrap ban will definitely pressure the US to look for other countries.

Treasure from Trash:

The market for recycling plastic scraps in future will be a challenging one. The usage of plastic cannot be stopped but it can be recycled in a different way to make business. The prohibition of plastic scrap import will increase the usage of domestic plastic scraps efficiently. The domestic business can be forwarded to utilize the uncollected scraps, this will reduce the land and water pollution. The innovative way to recycle waste plastic into construction materials can be encouraged. The recycling capacity of India must be even more enhanced by the government to convert the uncollected wastes into a new product. By doing so, the burden on the environment can be reduced. The government, society and the corporate sector must work altogether in collecting and recycling the plastic scraps. There must be a network of recycled machines in cities so that the daily created scraps can be recycled in an effective manner. The prohibition of plastic scraps import is sure to affect the global scrap plastic markets, as the scraps exporter has to again find a new market.

Category : Plastic

Tags : Plastic Waste, Plastic Ban, Bottle Scraps, Top Importer of plastic scraps


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About Anandhi Anthiran

Hi, I’m Anandhi Anthiran born at Kanyakumari, India. We are five members in our family. I have two younger sisters. About my schooling, I took my elementary education at Chennai. When I was 10 years old, our family got permanently shifted to Kanyakumari as it is our native land. Kanyakumari, the .... more info

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