NGT orders local bodies and TNPCB to strictly enforce plastic waste management rules

The National Green Tribunal (South Zone) has ordered local bodies including Greater Chennai Corporation, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and Chennai Collectorate to strictly enforce the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016.

This included Extended Producer Responsibility provided for in the guidelines issued in 2020 and subsequent guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the Central Pollution Control Board. He called on them to take action against violators by imposing environmental compensation, in addition to imposing penalties under local and other environmental laws.

In an order on an original request by Antony Clement Rubin of Chennai, seeking instructions from various government agencies to properly implement plastic waste management rules, Judicial Member Justice K. Ramakrishnan and Expert Member Satyagopal Korlapati also directed the Additional Chief Secretary to the Government, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, and the Chief Secretary of the State of Tamil Nadu, to monitor the implementation of the directives issued by the Government of the Status by the ad hoc working group constituted pursuant to GO (Ms.) No.25 Environment, Climate Change & Forests (EC.2) of 7 February 2022.

If any shortcoming was found, they were urged to issue the necessary instructions to implement the provisions of the 2016 Rules and other notices and guidelines issued by the MoEF&CC in this regard, in letter and spirit.

The TNPCB, in coordination with collectors from the respective districts and local bodies, has been tasked with carrying out awareness programs to avoid the use of banned plastics and to adopt environmentally friendly methodologies to carry bags. in fabric or other alternatives.

The state government, in coordination with the TNPCB, has also been instructed by the NGT to develop a policy to encourage manufacturers/producers of products to replace plastic with environmentally friendly materials, in order to incentivize manufacturers to rely on alternative materials and to step up efforts to strictly enforce the ban in letter and spirit.

The TNPCB, in coordination with the Department of Education and the State Legal Services Authority, has also been tasked with conducting awareness programs among students, including vocational colleges, regarding the negative effects of the use of plastic on the environment and encourage them to avoid plastics.

Bryce K. Locke