How will EPR for circular economy incentivise recycling?
Discussions are ongoing between the Government of India (GoI) to use policy instruments such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to incentivise recycling to promote a circular economy and reduce waste. The Ministry of Steel & the Ministry of Mines have issued recycling schemes under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. These schemes aim to help the recycling sector flourish using the latest technology to gain carbon neutrality and resource efficiency.
Moreover, policy instruments such as Extended Producer Responsibility discussions are ongoing, intended to incentivise recycling in India.
EPR is a policy application where producers are held responsible for disposing or treating post-consumer products. Under EPR, producers are given a role to minimise environmental impact, recycling cost and funding collection, which will boost the recycling sector. The GoI is also urged to revise the 18% GST on metal scrap and decrease it to 5% to promote a circular ecosystem and economy. It was also highlighted that to reach the target of 300 million tons of steel production by 2030, the GoI should implement profitable policies to encourage investment in the recycling industry.
As a matter of fact, recycled or scrap steel makes up 22% of steel production in India. It was also suggested to remove import duty on non-ferrous scrap in accordance with the ferrous scrap. The recent import duty on ferrous scrap is between 2.5 and 5%. Estimated at 15 billion US dollars now, the recycling industry in India is capable of flourishing. As per reports, plastic, batteries and e-waste recycling can significantly generate a market size worth 20 billion US dollars by 2030.
To encourage the growth of the recycling sector, JNADDDC (Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre) is given the task of allowing technical support and promotion. An awareness campaign under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) has been started to connect recycling stakeholders and solve any problems within the recycling sector in India.