Handbook on sustainable urban plastic waste management

Niti Aayog has suggested that urban local bodies (ULBs) could provide land to set up material recovery facilities (MRFs) to be used by various industries to set up infrastructure for efficient plastic waste management. In its handbook on sustainable urban plastic waste management, jointly released with UNDP, it also said the MRFs and waste pickers need to be institutionalized by ULBs for long-term plastic waste management. The MRF model for PWM must be funded and operated in the public-private partnership mode, including brand owners, producers, importers or CSR activities. This model can be initially funded by private players, supported by ULBs and operated by service providers. According to the Niti Aayog-UNDP handbook, a city will achieve financial sustainability in approximately five to six years if a dedicated amount of waste is processed and sold at feasible rates. Additionally, financial and infrastructure support is to be provided for setting up MRFs, it said. India generates about 3.4 million tonnes of plastic waste per year and about 70 per cent of plastic packaging products are converted into plastic waste within a short period. The Plastic Waste Management Rules were mandated in 2016 and amended in 2018 and 2021 to manage waste at the city level.