EcoserveIndia simplifies the way to get your compostable plastic manufacturing license now.

Compostable plastic can be broken down by microorganisms into CO2, water, mineral salts and new biomass within a defined period of time. There are two classes of compostable plastics. One which is made from renewable raw materials and that the other that comes from petrochemicals having biodegradable additives. Created to reduce pollution caused due to plastic pollutants, compostable plastic can offer multitude of benefits. Perhaps that’s why the Government of India has banned single use plastic and is promoting this particular type. Here’s how to start manufacturing compostable plastic carry bags.

Compostable Plastic - Overview

Plastics are a key material in modern life. They are versatile, light and can be produced at relatively low cost. But this particular material comes with high longevity and thus doesn’t decompose easily. As of now, only about 1 % of plastics is compostable. However, now a days India is making shift towards the circular economy. In such economy, all plastic waste must be recycled into new plastics in the first instance. Thus, compostable plastics are the only viable solutions available. This plastic can be treated with bio-waste and provides environmental benefits.

More and more consumer products, like carry bags, packaging and single-use cups are now carrying a label as ‘compostable’. Read on to know what exactly this term means? How new items are created with the help of compostable plastic granules? What rules and regulations apply to the manufacturing of compostable plastic carry bags? Before proceeding with the manufacturing of the compostable plastic carry bags, here’s a brief related to the same for sustainable Plastic Waste Management.

The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016

PWM Rules, 2016 and the amendments made thereof, clearly mention some basic definitions, roles and responsibilities of manufacturers, licenses required and so on.


Carry bags mean bags made from compostable plastic material, intended for dispensing or carrying commodities which have a self carrying feature but don’t include bags that constitute or form an integral part of the packaging in which goods are sealed before usage.

Compostable plastics means plastic that undergoes degradation by biological processes while composting to produce CO2, inorganic compounds, water and biomass at a rate consistent with other known compostable items, except conventional petro-based plastics, and doesn’t leave distinguishable, visible or toxic residue.

According to the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2022, Biodegradable plastic means that plastics, except compostable plastics, which undergoes complete degradation by biological procedures under ambient environment (in water or terrestrial) conditions, in specified time, without leaving any micro plastics, or distinguishable, visible or toxic residue, which have adverse environment impacts, adhering to laid down norms of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and certified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).


The thickness provisions are not applicable to carry bags made up of compostable plastic. Carry bags made from compostable plastics must conform to the Indian Standard:IS 17088:2008 titled as Specifications for Compostable Plastics, as amended from time to time. The manufacturers of compostable plastic carry bags must get a certificate from the CPCB before selling or marketing.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Issuing Certificate to Manufacturers of Compostable Plastic Carry Bags and Commodities (Rule 4(h) of Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016) (as announced on Aug 2022)

SOP for issuance of Certificate

Application Submission

i. The manufacturer of compostable plastic carry bags or commodities or both must apply to CPCB for the registration. The application must be accompained with the prescribed documents and fees on the portal “Compostable Plastic E-Certification” at the link -

ii. CPCB, on receiving the application assigns an application number and sends a confirmatory e-mail to the applicant.

iii. CPCB examines the application and communicates the queries, if any, to the applicant within one week of receiving the application.

iv. The applicant must respond to CPCB’s query and resubmit the application along with the requisite documents/details and prescribed resubmission fees.

Checklist of Documents required for Certification

i. PAN information of the company

ii. Consents (CTE and CTO) under Air/Water Acts issued by concerned SPCB/PCC

iii. Process flow diagram

iv. Registration certificate for manufacturing compostable carry bags or commodities or both issued by concerned SPCB/PCC under Rule 13(i) of PWM Rules,2018 (From concerned SPCB/PCC (for SUP Manufacturers) and on centralized EPR portal for plastic packaging manufacturers)

v. Copy of document furnishing information of pollution control measures

vi. Documents supporting procurement of raw material (Tax invoice etc)

vii. Test report of sample according to the IS/ISO 17088: 2021 (Testing has to be done at CIPET or a laboratory recognised under the Laboratory Recognition Scheme (LRS), 2020, of the BIS or laboratories accredited for this purpose by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories)

Processing of application

  • i. CPCB examines the application and queries, if any, are communicated to the applicant within seven working days.
  • ii. The applicant must reply to CPCB’s query and if no reply is received from the applicant within one month of receiving CPCB’s query, failing which the the application is considered as rejected.
  • iii. The certificate is generated, if CPCB doesn’t send any reply to the applicant within thrity days of the receiving the application.

Issuing of Certificate

  • i. As per Rule 4(h) of the PWM Rules 2016 as amended, a certificate is issued within one week of complete application submission. A copy of the certificate is sent to the concerned SPCB/PCC.
  • ii. The certificate issued by CPCB stands valid unless it is revoked for violation of norms stipulated in the certificate. However, if there is a change in production process/raw material or product, new application must be filed to CPCB for issuing of a new certificate.
  • iii. If the entity doesn’t holds a valid registration from concerned SPCB/PCC (for SUP Manufacturers) and on centralized EPR portal for plastic packaging manufacturers, then the certificate must be issued with the condition that the manufacturer must produce the compostable carry bags or commodities or both only after obtaining a valid registration for manufacturing from concerned SPCB/PCC. The registration must be submitted to CPCB within three months of issuance of the certificate by CPCB, failing which the certificate stands cancelled.
  • iv. A provisional certificate is issued in the following two cases:
    • (a) Interim test report according to the IS/ISO:17088 covering first two components -
    • (b) Disintegration while composting and ultimate aerobic biodegradation is submitted. Final certificate in these cases is issued on submitting complete test report mentioning all four components, including seed germination and heavy metal analysis test (after 180 days)
    • (c) If the sample has been sent for testing before grant of CTO from SPCB/PCC mentioning the sample hasn’t been manufactured at the entity under consideration, the entity must send a fresh sample manufactured at the unit for testing after the grant of the provisional certificate. Final certificate, in these cases is issued after submission of compete test report. The condition regarding fresh testing of the sample in these cases must be included in the certificate to be issued to the concerned entity.
    • (d) The validity of provisional certificate is six months, which is extendable by another six months, subject to the condition that the reasons quoted by the applicant seeking extension stands valid according to CPCB.

(v) Member Secretary, CPCB is the approving authority for issuing of the certificate and Divisional Head, UPC II, CPCB is the designated signatory on the certificate.

Monitoring Mechanism

i. Each plastic carrybag or commodities or both and multi-layered packaging must have the data related to name and certificate number of manufacturer [Rule 4(h)] in case of carry bags or commodities or both made from compostable plastic printed in English on the bag as per 11(1) of PWM Rules].

ii. Additionally, the manufacturer must generate QR code based on the info furnished in the certificate issued by CPCB. The QR code must be provided on each of the carrybag or commodities or both manufactured at the certified unit. The info of the QR code (email/password, Name, plant address, CPCB certificate no., etc.) must be shared with the SPCB/PCC/CPCB on the online portal “Compostable Plastics - E Certification” whose link is provided above.

iii. The manufacturer must furnish six-months report, stating info of raw material procurement and product sale including GST details to CPCB on the online portal “Compostable Plastics - E Certification” as per the format in Annexure- IV.

iv. Field verification of the entities is carried out by SPCB/PCC covering at least 10% of the entities in their States/UTs in every six months.

v. Random checks of consignments in case of import of compostable plastics commodities must be carried out by the concerned authorities.

vi. Market survey is also carried out to guarntee availability of certified compostable carry bag or commodities or both at the consumer end.

vii. SPCBs/PCCs must submit the six-months compliance report covering point i-v, to CPCB on the online portal “Compostable Plastics - E Certification”.

viii. CPCB must independently conduct field verification of the certified entities annually and market survey to evaluate the compliance of the PWM Rules w.r.t manufacture of compostable plastics.

ix. If at any stage, the manufacturer of compostable plastic bags is found to be violating the stipulated norms, the certificate issued by CPCB, stands cancelled.

Cancellation of Certificate

  • i. CPCB can cancel or suspend the certificate of the manufacturer, in case s/he fails to comply with any of the conditions of the certificate.
  • ii. If any manufacturer is found to be violating the norms of certificate, during random checking by CPCB or based on verification by SPCBs, a notice is issued by CPCB.
  • iii. A chance is given to hear the manufacturer within fifteen days from the date of issuance of notice before considering the case for cancellation or suspension of EPR authorisation by CPCB.
  • iv. The decision on cancellation or suspension of authorisation is intimated within 10 working days after hearing.
  • v. Chairman CPCB is the final authority for taking decision on cancellation or suspension.

Applicability of SOPs

  • (i) SOPs are applicable to all application received after the date of issue of the current SOP.
  • (ii) The applications under process at CPCB for issue of certificate is assessed according to the provisions of the current SOP.
  • (iii) Certificates, which have already been issued by CPCB as on date, are reviewed according to the norms of this SOP within three months from the issue of the current SOP and necessary action must be taken by the manufacturer/SPCB/PCC/CPCB.

Marking or labelling

(1) Each compostable plastic carry bag must have name and certificate number printed on it in English [Rule 4(h) of Plastic Waste Management Rules].

(2) Each carry bag made from compostable plastics must bear a label “compostable” and conform to the Indian Standard : IS or ISO 17088:2008 titled as Specifications for “Compostable Plastics”.

(3) Plastic materials or products meeting all the requirements specified in Clause 6 may be labelled “compostable”.

(4) The labelling must conform to regional, international, national or local regulations.

(5) The name of the country where the plastic product or material is to be marketed or recycled by composting must be indicated.

Coverage of Extended Producer Responsibility (PWM Rules 2022)

The following plastic packaging categories are covered under Extended Producer Responsibility:

(i) Category I Rigid plastic packaging;

(ii) Category II Flexible plastic packaging of a multi or single layer (more than one layer with different plastic types), plastic sheets or like and covers made of plastic sheet, carry bags, plastic sachet or pouches;

(iii) Category III - Multi-layered plastic packaging (at least one layer of plastic & at least one layer of material other than plastic);

(iv) Category IV Plastic sheet or like used for packaging and carry bags made of compostable plastics.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Which government laboratories are recognized by the CPCB as having acceptable testing facilities?

    Only the Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering and Technology (CIPET), a CPCB-approved government laboratory, currently has adequate testing facilities to meet IS 17088:2008 standards.

  • 2. What is the application fee for manufacturer of compostable plastic carry bags?



    Manufacturing Capacity (TPA)

    Application Fee (in Rs.)


    < 200



    200 - 2,000



    > 2,000


  • 3. What does test report showcase?

    The test report must provide all pertinent details such as -

    • (a) all details necessary to identify and describe the product or material tested;
    • (b) references to all standards, norms and regulations that are relevant to 6.4.2 related to the content of regulated metals and other toxic substances (a table of regulated metals and other toxic substances must be presented, mentioning each such reference and quoting the prescribed limit for each metal and other toxic substance, the concentration determined in the test and the percentage of the prescribed limit);
    • (c) a description of other relevant requirements in the referenced documents and a statement for each such requirement, as to whether the test result was in conformity with the requirement or not.

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