Report by CPCB on steps taken to minimise microplastic pollution in the environment, 27/05/2021

  • 27/05/2021

Status report filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in Original Application No 99 of 2021 (SZ) in the matter of Tribunal on its own motion Suo Motu based on the News item published in The Times of India Newspaper, Chennai Edition of April 5, 2021, under the caption "Chennai, you are breathing micro plastic".

The NGT in its order, April 16, 2021 had directed the CPCB to consider the issue and come up with a guideline as to how such dangerous pollutants caused on account of micro plastic can be curbed. The CPCB alongwith the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board was directed to submit a report on the implementation of notifications issued banning single plastic use in southern states like Tamil Nadu and whether the extended producers liability that has been fixed under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Rule (17) of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 is being implemented.

The report said that revision of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) has been initiated and standards for atmospheric microplastic monitoring shall be examined as a part of the proposed study. Further, measures have been taken for controlling plastic pollution which in turn would minimise microplastics in the environment.

These include:

a) Strengthening infrastructure for collection, segregation, channelization and processing of plastic waste

b) Restrictions on manufacture and use of single use plastic items

c) Standardizing protocols for identification, characterization and quantification of microplastics d) Effective fulfilment of Extended Producer Responsibility by producers/brandowners

e) Creating public awareness for prevention and control of plastic pollution.

In addition, the CPCB has issued letter, May 19, 021 to southern states (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Puducherry, Telangana) to provide status of banning of single use plastic and implementation status of provision of Plastic Waste Management Rules and Solid Waste Management Rules with respect to fulfilment of EPR liability by producers and brandowners.