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Circularity Unleashed: How Extended Producer Responsibility Will Reshape Used Oil Management in India

Author Name

Bhaskaran Nagarajan

Date Published

26 February 2024

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Second Amendment Rules, 2023, with a focus on extended producer responsibility (EPR) for Used Oil. This signifies a critical step towards environmental conservation and sustainable waste management practices. The rules, effective from April 1, 2024, introduce a new chapter specifically addressing the Extended Producer Responsibility for Used Oil. This shift aligns with the global trend of holding producers accountable for the life cycle of their products, ensuring responsible disposal and recycling.

Definitions for key terms such as base oil, bulk generator, business, collection point, and more are clearly outlined, providing a comprehensive framework for stakeholders. The introduction of a mandatory registration process for entities like producers, collection agents, recyclers, and used oil importers with the Central Pollution Control Board indicates a commitment to organized and regulated waste management.

The concept of Extended Producer Responsibility is emphasized, requiring producers and importers to meet recycling targets specified in a detailed table. The mechanism allows producers to purchase Extended Producer Responsibility certificates from registered recyclers, fostering a market-driven approach to meeting environmental goals.

The creation of an online portal serves as a centralized platform for recording and monitoring all activities related to extended producer responsibility. This digital approach enhances transparency, efficiency, and traceability in waste management.

The inclusion of environmental compensation charges in case of non-compliance or false information aims to enforce adherence to the rules. This financial consequence serves as both a deterrent and a means to fund initiatives related to the collection and recycling of unmanaged or non-recycled used oil.

The establishment of a Steering Committee, comprising representatives from relevant ministries, producer associations, and recyclers, indicates a collaborative and consultative approach towards overseeing the implementation of these rules. The committee's role in reviewing and revising targets based on technological advancements and other factors ensures the adaptability and relevance of the regulations.

The inclusion of the Bureau of Indian Standards in issuing necessary standards for re-refined oil underscores a commitment to maintaining quality standards in the recycling process. This not only ensures environmental benefits but also supports the development of a robust market for recycled products.

In summary, the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Second Amendment Rules, 2023, represent a progressive step towards a more sustainable and responsible approach to managing used oil. The comprehensive framework, emphasis on EPR, digitalization through an online portal, and the collaborative governance structure collectively contribute to the efficacy and success of these regulations.

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