Waste Management – SWM Rules, EWM Rules, etc

[oped of the day] Draft policy seeks to plug gaps in implementation of waste laws

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Waste management

Op-ed of the day is the most important editorial of the day. This will cover a key issue that came in the news and for which students must pay attention. This will also take care of certain key issues students have to cover in respective GS papers.

Context

Waste generation is inextricably linked to urbanization and economic development. From the collection of waste to disposal, cities are struggling to implement an affordable and sustainable model. 

Waste generation in India

  • Currently, India generates about 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW). 
  • Waste generation in cities is increasing by 5% each year because of the growing population and consumption. 
  • With poor systems of segregation, recycling and reuse, wastes including hazardous wastes are improperly disposed of, endangering the environment and human health.

Circular Economy

  • CE seeks to restore and regenerate, and also reduce waste by replacing the end-of-life concept. 

Draft National Resource Efficiency Policy (NREP), 2019

  • Key principles
    • Reduction in primary resource consumption to ‘sustainable’ levels in line with the Sustainable Development Goals
    • creation of higher value with less material through resource-efficient and circular approaches
    • waste minimization
    • material security
    • creation of employment opportunities,
    • business models beneficial to the cause of environment protection and restoration
  • Policy instruments
    • Addressing regulatory gaps in implementation of waste laws
    • Landfill taxes
    • High tipping fees for bulk generators of waste, etc.
  • The National Resource Efficiency Authority (NREA) is mandated to drive the agenda of resource efficiency by designing database templates for material use and waste generated and recycled and landfilled, across various sectors and life cycle stages and across different regions (states/zones).
  • To promote maximum plastic recycling, the draft has proposed 100% recycling and reuse of PET plastic by 2025 and 75% recycling and reuse rate of other plastic packaging materials by 2030.
  • It also mentions a ban on disposal of recyclable waste to landfills by 2025. 
  • Concerning construction and demolition (C&D) waste, it mentions that municipalities in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities should start inventorizing C&D waste data by 2022. 
  • Recycling rate for C&D waste should reach 50% by 2025 and 75% by 2030.

Challenges

  • Significant work on the circular economy (CE) model has not been done yet.

Conclusion

Reduced waste generation through closing the loop using CE and resource efficiency (RE) approaches will reduce pollution associated with waste disposal and save costs in resolving the trade-offs between growth and environmental sustainability.

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