Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Feb 24, 2022

Current Affair 1:
Plastic Waste Amendment Rules 2022


The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change announced the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2022 on February 16.

The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, mandate the generators of plastic waste to take steps to minimize generation of plastic waste, not to litter the plastic waste, ensure segregated storage of waste at source and hand over segregated waste in accordance with rules.

  • The rules also mandate the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators, retailers and street vendors to manage plastic waste.
  • The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 cast Extended Producer Responsibility on Producer, Importer, and Brand Owner.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility shall be applicable to both pre-consumer and post-consumer plastic packaging waste.
  • These guidelines provide framework for implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility.


The Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2022 is a step in the right direction: they address a gamut of unresolved issues surrounding post-consumer plastic waste and help streamline stakeholder obligations under India’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) regime.

EPR is a mechanism in which producers are responsible for the end-of-life collection, recycling or disposal of products that they manufactured. In the 2022 Rules, these products are single-use plastics used to package foods and beverages. The crux of EPR is the ‘polluters pay’ principle: in this case, it aims to hold manufacturers and producers of ecologically unsustainable plastic items financially and socially accountable for the pollution these materials cause.

In this context, we should see the amendment as an important development that demonstrates India’s political will to address the plastic challenge by affixing responsibility where it belongs.

Categories, targets, timelines

The key goal of the 2022 amendment is to operationalise EPR within the ambit of the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016. The amendment has proposed the categorisation of single use plastics into four types:

  • Rigid, flexible plastics with single plastic layers;
  • Rigid, flexible plastics with multiple plastic layers;
  • Multi-layered plastic packaging where at least one layer is non-plastics, such as Tetra Pak and Uflex cartons; and
  • Compostable plastics.

Recycling obligations


For the first time the rules have proposed reuse and recycling obligations on plastic producers. The targets range from 10% to 85% to be achieved over the decade.

Minimum recycled content

The idea of “minimum recycled content” has also been introduced in the new amendment. This requires brand owners to incrementally incorporate a minimum quantity of recycled resins into their packaging between 2025 and 2029. ‘Minimum recycled content’ or ‘post-consumer resin content’ is an idea that US states, like California and Washington, have been toying with for PET bottles.

There are no known examples of this being applied to other low value single use plastics like laminates and multi-material packaging like Tetrapak and Uflex. This also raises health and safety concerns especially since a majority of these plastics fall in the food contact category.

EPR certificates

The most contentious aspects of the amendment could be the surplus EPR certificate offsets and the environmental compensation system. Offset systems are extremely complex and rely on a robust reporting and monitoring system.

Producers and brand owners are expected to submit annual reports on their targets to an online portal. There is no provision for a third-party audit or independent verification of these annual reports. There is no recorded example of an efficient trust-based governance initiative in India which raises several concerns regarding the efficacy of such a system for plastic waste monitoring.

Environmental compensation

In case producers and brand owners fail to meet their EPR obligations, the rules propose an environmental compensation system instead of a fine.

Interestingly, producers and brand-owners are allowed to seek a refund of the compensation in case they meet their obligations for the given year.

It is not clear how such a system would be operationalised and why the compensation amount which is effectively a penalty should be refunded.

Excludes informal sector

The rules also seem to be in conflict with the aspirations in informal sector inclusion envisaged in the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016. The EPR system of certification has been tied to a formal recycling system where only registered recyclers and processors are allowed to issue certificates. This abandons the entire downstream labour force which is the backbone of the recycling industry in the country.

Waste-pickers organised as cooperatives or unions or private firms offer their services at the most valuable stage in waste processing and ensure clean and well separated materials are available for the recycling industry. Any such certification system should allow for the recognition of such organisations.

Overall, the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2022 is a mixed bag of ideas and a test case for experimenting with new concepts. Ideas like EPR certificates, refundable environmental compensation and minimum recycled content are not grounded in the realities of India’s waste management ecosystem.

Current Affair 2:
India’s Green Hydrogen Policy


The Ministry of Power, Government of India, notified the green hydrogen and green ammonia policy. The Policy aims at boosting the domestic production of green hydrogen to 5 million tonnes by the year 2030, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and import of crude oil, and making India an export hub for the clean fuel - green hydrogen and green ammonia. Hydrogen (H2) and ammonia (NH3) are expected to replace fossil fuels soon and are expected to be future fuels.


Hydrogen, a clean fuel, is produced through water electrolysis, i.e., a process whereby molecules in water (H2O) are split into hydrogen gas and oxygen gas (O2) when electricity is passed through it. Green hydrogen is produced when the same process of water electrolysis is conducted by using electricity from renewable energy sources.

Similarly, using renewable energy sources, hydrogen (derived from electrolysis of water) and nitrogen (N2) (separated from the air) are made to react at high temperatures and pressures to produce green ammonia.


The Policy addresses some of the crucial demands of the industry in terms of open access to the grid to wheel power free of cost to the plant where hydrogen/ammonia is to be produced; banking of unconsumed power with distribution companies; priority connectivity to the grid; and faster approvals for green hydrogen and green ammonia projects through a single portal.

The Ministry of Power has also proposed to set up manufacturing zones for the production of green hydrogen and green ammonia.

Under the Policy, the green hydrogen and green ammonia manufacturers have been given several incentives for procuring renewable energy. The manufacturers can purchase renewable power from the power exchange or set up renewable energy capacity themselves or through any other developer, anywhere.

To further reduce the cost of green fuels, the Policy has also waived off inter-state transmission charges for a period of 25 years for any new renewable energy plants commissioned to supply power for green hydrogen and green ammonia production before June 30, 2025. This would mean that any green hydrogen or green ammonia producer will be able to set up a solar power plant in one part of the country to supply renewable energy to a green hydrogen or green ammonia plant in another part of the country without requiring to pay any inter-state transmission charges. This will help in boosting the domestic production of green hydrogen and green ammonia.

Further, the green hydrogen and green ammonia manufacturers have been permitted to bank their unconsumed renewable power for up to 30 days, with power distribution companies and take it back when required. The charges for banking shall be fixed by the state commission as per the formula provided in the Policy.


To facilitate export of green hydrogen and green ammonia

Power distribution companies are also permitted to procure renewable energy for supplying to the manufacturers of green hydrogen and green ammonia at a concessional rate which shall include the cost of procurement, wheeling charges and a small margin as determined by the state commission.

Further, in order to ensure ease of doing business, a single portal will be set up by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for all statutory clearances and permissions required for setting up of green hydrogen and green ammonia production in a time bound manner, preferably within 30 days from the date of application.

Current Affair 3:
MoEFCC’s new notification on brick kilns


Despite the availability of clean technology, the majority of the 1,500 billion bricks used each year are produced in polluting kilns.


Traditional brick production methods, in which clay bricks are fired using coal, wood or other biomass materials, are still commonly found in parts of Asia and Latin America. These methods are inefficient, requiring a lot of energy and top soil, and pose an important threat to health and the environment through the large amounts of particulate matter, black carbon, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and other pollutants they release into the atmosphere.


The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change came up with stringent standards for brick kilns after seven years of deliberation via a notification dated February 22, 2022.

Salient features of the notification:

  • Standard for PM emissions — 250 milligram per normal cubic metre (mg / Nm3)
  • Existing brick kilns shall be converted to either zig-zag technology or vertical shaft or use of PNG as fuel in brick making within a period of one year in case of kilns located within a 10 km radius of non-attainment cities and two years for other areas
  • All brick kilns shall use approved fuel such as PNG, coal, fire wood and / or agricultural residues. Use of pet coke, tyres, plastic, hazardous waste shall not be allowed in brick kilns
  • Brick kilns shall construct permanent facility for port hole and platform according to the norms laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
  • Brick kilns shall follow fugitive dust emission control guidelines as prescribed by concerned SPCBs
  • The brick kiln owners shall ensure that the roads utilised for transporting raw material or bricks are paved

Current Affair 4:
Sustainable Cities India program

Source Link


The World Economic Forum and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a jointly designed ‘Sustainable Cities India program’ which will aim to create an enabling environment for cities to generate decarbonization solutions across the energy, transport, and the built environment sectors.

The ‘Sustainable Cities India program’ intends to enable cities to decarbonize in a systematic and sustainable way that will reduce emissions and deliver resilient and equitable urban ecosystems. The Forum and NIUA will adapt the Forum’s City Sprint process and Toolbox of Solutions for decarbonization in the context of five to seven Indian cities across two years.

The City Sprint process is a series of multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder workshops involving business, government, and civil society leaders to enable decarbonization, especially through clean electrification and circularity.

The City Sprint process uses the Toolbox of Solutions - a digital platform containing over 200 examples of clean electrification, efficiency and smart infrastructure best practices and case studies across buildings, energy systems and mobility from over 110 cities around the world.

About Net Zero Carbon Cities

The World Economic Forum’s Net Zero Carbon Cities’ mission is to create an enabling environment for clean electrification and circularity, resulting in urban decarbonization and resilience. The program aims to do this by fostering public-private collaboration to bridge the gap across the energy, built environment and transport sectors.

About NIUA

Established in 1976, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is India’s leading national think tank on urban planning and development. As a hub for the generation and dissemination of cutting-edge research in the urban sector, NIUA seeks to provide innovative solutions to address the challenges of a fast-urbanizing India, and pave the way for more inclusive and sustainable cities of the future.

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