Take a step towards a green environment by becoming a CPCB registered Plastic Waste Processor in India.

Several tons of plastic waste is produced annually due to carry bags, plastic bottles and other plastic items. Since plastic is non-biodegradable, processing and reusing it again is the only alternative. Plastic waste processing means managing and processing such waste sustainably to make it reusable. Thus, obtaining CPCB registration is vital to becoming a Plastic Waste Processor (PWP) in India. By obtaining EPR authorisation, PWPs can guarantee that they comply with the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, and so can avoid legal action or penalties for non-compliance.

Plastic Waste Processor (PWP) Authorisation from CPCB - Overview

Plastic is one of the most famous materials used worldwide. Nowadays, almost everything one can think of is made up of plastic! From polythene bags, shampoo bottles, and batteries to computers, everything has some element of plastic present in them. Being so popular worldwide, the waste produced from plastic items is enormous. Though it has many valuable characteristics, the fact remains that plastic doesn't decompose. It remains as it is for years, becoming nothing but a waste. This waste leads to environmental pollution and adversely affects human health if not processed well. Hence, plastic waste processing sustainably is essential.

The idea is implemented by the Government of India (GoI) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) by introducing the PWM Rules, 2016. These rules make the plastic waste processors (PWP) and producers, importers and brand owners (PIBOs) responsible for guaranteeing that the plastic packaging waste they produce is processed sustainably. The plastic waste processing process involves reusing, recycling or end-of-life disposal (such as road construction, waste-to-energy, plastic-to-oil and industrial composting). Here are the details to become a plastic waste processor in India.

PWM Rules, 2016 and the amendments made

PWM Rules, 2016, apply to every plastic waste generator, including PWPs, the actual users of plastic scrap, PIBOs, local bodies, etc.

The PWM Rules, 2016 mandate plastic waste generators to -

  • not to litter the plastic waste
  • guarantee segregated waste storage at the source and hand over it according to the rules
  • follow measures to reduce plastic waste generation.

The rules also outline the responsibilities of local bodies, PWPs, gram panchayats, waste generators, retailers and street vendors for effective plastic waste management. Also, the rules cast EPR on PWPs. Moreover, EPR applies to PIBOs also.

These guidelines offer a framework for implementing the EPR for plastic packaging. Besides the roles and responsibilities of plastic waste processors, the rules also effectively mention some basic definitions for EPR implementation. The following sections mention everything in detail.


Plastic is a material that has as an essential ingredient a high polymer like high-density polyethene, polyethene terephthalate, Vinyl, polypropylene, low-density polyethene, polystyrene resins, multi-materials such as polyphenylene oxide, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polycarbonate, Polybutylene terephthalate;

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

Commodity stands for a tangible item that may be sold or bought and includes all marketable wares or goods;

Compostable plastic is plastic that expereince degradation by biological procedure while composting to generate water, carbon dioxide, inorganic compounds 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;

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is the producer's responsibility for the environmentally sound management of an item until the end of its life;

Registration means registration with the concerned PCC/SPCB, as the case may be.

Conditions imposed for effective PWM

The importer stocking, manufacture, distribution, sale and usage of carry bags or covers made of plastic sheet or plastic sheets or like and multi-layered packaging upon meeting the following conditions -

(a) products or carry bags made of recycled plastic waste are used for dispensing, carrying, storing, or packaging ready-to-drink and eat stuff subject to the notification of proper regulation and standards according to the FSSAI’s Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006;

(b) plastic packaging and carry bags must either be in the natural colour, which is without any added pigments or made using only those pigments and colourants which adhere to the Indian Standard: IS 9833:1981;

(c) plastic sheet or like, which is not an intrinsic part of multi-layered packaging and cover made of plastic sheet used for wrapping the commodity, packaging must not be less than fifty microns in thickness except where the thickness of such plastic sheets harm the product’s functionality;

(d) sachets using plastic material must not be used for selling, packing or storing tobacco, pan masala and gutkha;

(e) carry bag produced of recycled or virgin plastic mustn't be less than fifty microns in thickness;

(f) the thickness provision must not be applicable to carry bags produced from compostable plastic. Such bags must conform to the Indian Standard: IS 17088:2008, titled Specifications for Compostable Plastics, as amended occasionally;

(g) plastic waste recycling must conform to the Indian Standard: IS 14534:1998 given under the Recycling of Plastics Guidelines, as amended from time to time;.

(h) the seller or manufacturers of compostable plastic carry bags must obtain CPCB NOC before selling or marketing; and

(i) plastic material, in any form, including Vinyl Chloride Copolymer, Vinyl Acetate, and Maleic Acid, must not be used in any packaging of pan masala, gutkha and tobacco in all forms.

Registration of plastic waste processors

(1) No entity must recycle or manufacture carry bags or plastic bags or multi-layered packaging unless the entity has obtained a registration from the concerned PCC of the UT or SPCB, as the case may be, before starting the operations;

(2) Every person recycling or processing waste or intending to recycle or process plastic waste must apply to the PCC or the SPCB for granting registration for the plastic waste processing unit in Form II.

(3) The producer intending to set up a plastic waste recycling plant in India must furnish the following details and documents -

  • Consents Validity (CTE and CTO)
  • Authorisation
  • A flow diagram of the manufacturing process flow diagram for each product.
  • Products and installed capacity of production (MTA)
  • A flow diagram of the manufacturing process
  • Waste generation in processing plastic-waste
  • Waste Management
  • Incorporation certificate
  • A copy of the Company's CIN, PAN and GST
  • Waste disposal details
  • A copy of the Authorised person's Aadhar and PAN cards
  • Waste collection and transportation
  • MOA
  • IEC
  • Waste disposal details
  • Registration required for manufacturing of:
    • (i) Carry bags
    • (a) petro-based
    • (b) compostable
    • (ii) Multi-layered plastics
  • Details of manufacturing capacity
  • GST registration
  • Pollution Control Measures
  • Details of plastic waste proposed to be acquired through sale, auction, contract or import, as the case may be, for usage as raw material
  • Occupational safety and health aspects
  • Pollution Control Measures
  • DGFT license  

(4) The PCC or SPCB must not issue or renew the registration to plastic waste processing units unless the unit holds valid consent (CTE and CTO) under the Water and the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Acts and a registration certificate issued by the District Industries Centre (DIC) or any other government agency authorised in this matter.

(5) On receiving a complete application for registering of plastic waste processing unit under sub-rule (3), the SPCB may, after conducting a necessary inquiry and on being satisfied that the plastic waste processor has appropriate facilities, technical capabilities and equipment to handle plastic waste safely, grants registration to the applicant on fulfilling the norms as laid down in terms of registration.

(6) Every PCC or SPCB must decide on the grant of registration within three months of receiving the complete application.

(7) As per Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2023,

(a) The registration granted can be changed only on the request of PIBOs, under the existing EPR registration.

(b) Also, the registration granted under PWM Rules, 2023 is valid for one year, unless suspended, revoked, or cancelled. Furthermore, the registration must subsequently be granted for three years.

(8) The PCC or SPCB must not revoke, suspend or cancel the registration without giving the opportunity of a hearing to the person engaged in the processing of plastic wastes.

(9) Every application for registration renewal must be made at least four months before the expiry of the validity of the registration certificate.

Annual Report

Every person involved in plastic waste processing must prepare and file an annual report in Form IV to the concerned local body (LB) under intimation to the concerned PCC/SPCB by 30th April annually. The following details must also be furnished in the form -

  • Quantity of plastic waste processed (in tons)
  • Technologies used for the management of plastic waste
  • Quantity and source of plastic waste received during the year being reported upon
  • Status of compliance to environmental conditions, if any, specified during the grant of Consent (CTE and CTO) or registration

Guidelines on EPR for Plastic Waste Processors

Obligated Entities:

The Plastic Waste Processors are covered under the EPR obligations and provisions of the norms.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Coverage

1. The following plastic packaging categories are included under EPR:

Category I Rigid plastic packaging

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

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

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

2. The EPR guidelines also include the following concerning plastic packaging namely: -

  • (i) End-of-life disposal;
  • (ii) Recycling;
  • (iii) Use of recycled plastic content; and
  • (iv) Reuse.

EPR Registration for plastic waste processing plant set up in India

1. (a)The following entities must register on the CPCB's centralised portal, namely: -

  • Plastic Waste Processor (PWP) involved in -
  • industrial composting;
  • recycling;
  • waste to oil; and
  • waste to energy.

(b) PCC/SPCB does the PWP registration through the centralised EPR portal created by CPCB.

(c) Entities starting their business in a specific year and making their products available to the market in that year must obtain EEPR target obligations from the subsequent year.

(d) After these guidelines have come into force, w.r.t, PWPs starting their business in a specific year and making their products available in the market in that year must fulfil EPR target obligations from the subsequent year.

(2) The entities included under clause 1 must not conduct business without obtaining registration via a centralised online portal developed by CPCB.

(3) The registered PWPs must not deal with any entity not registered on CPCB’s centralised portal.

(4) If it is observed or found that any registered PWP on the online portal has given false information or there is any irregularity or deviation from the norms stipulated or has willfully hidden information while obtaining registration under EPR guidelines, then the registration of such entity will be reversed for a one year after allowing a chance to be heard. Any PWP with reversed registration won't be able to register until the revocation period.

(5) In case any entity falls under more than one sub-category mentioned in clause 1, it should register under each sub-category individually. Further, in situations where the PWP has units in different states or a specific sub-category, they must also be registered separately. However, only one registration under a sub-category in a state is needed, even if more than one unit is nestled in a state. The registration must be according to the SOPs given by CPCB.

(6) While registering, the PWP intending to start a plastic waste processing plant in India must furnish the following -

  • GST Number
  • PAN Number
  • CIN of the company (as per Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2023)
  • Aadhaar and PAN of authorised person or representative and
  • Any other necessary detail as required

Environmental Compensation

(1) Environmental Compensation is levied depending upon the polluter pays principle (PPP) concerning non-fulfilment of EPR targets by PWPs, for serving the purpose of improving & protecting the quality of the environment and controlling, preventing and decreasing the environmental pollution.

(2) CPCB frames norms for collection and imposition of environment compensation on end-of-life processors, plastic waste recyclers and PIBOs in case of non-fulfilment of obligations established in these guidelines, and the same must be notified. The policies for EC must be updated as needed.

(3) The Environment Compensation, as applicable, must be imposed by the concerned SPCB on the Plastic Waste Processors (PWPs), which includes recyclers and other waste processors – waste to energy, waste to oil, co-processors, concerning non-fulfilment of their EPR targets or responsibilities and obligations framed under these guidelines. If the PCC or SPCB does not act reasonably, the CPCB must instruct the PCC/SPCB to do so.

(4) Payment of environmental compensation will not absolve the PIBOs of the obligations set out in these norms. The unfulfilled EPR obligations for a specific year are carried forward to the subsequent year for three years. If the shortfall of EPR obligation is addressed within three years. The environmental compensation imposed must be returned to the PIBOs as given below, namely -

  • (i) Within one year of levying of EC - 75% return;
  • (ii) Within two years - 60% return;
  • (iii) Within three years - 40% return.

After completion of three years on EC getting due, the entire compensation amount is forfeited. This arrangement will also allow to collection and recycle plastic packaging waste by PIBOs in the upcoming years.

(6) The funds collected under environmental compensation are kept in a separate Escrow account by PCC, SPCB, or CPCB. The funds collected will be utilised in recycling, collection, and end-of-life disposal of non-recycled or uncollected or non-end-of-life disposal of plastic packaging waste, on which the environmental compensation is imposed. Modalities for using the funds for plastic waste management annually will be recommended by the committee for EPR implementation and approved by the Competent Authority in the Ministry.

Role of Plastic Waste Processors (Recyclers or Other Waste Processors, including industrial composting facilities)

(1) The PWPs must register with the concerned PCC or SPCB via the centralised online portal developed by CPCB. The certificate of registration is issued using the portal. CPCB must lay down uniform procedures for registration within ninety days of the publication of these norms.

(2) The PWPs must submit annual returns post the end of every financial year by 30th April of the subsequent financial year on the quantity of plastic waste processed category-wise according to the suggested pro forma on the centralised portal developed by CPCB. Given that the last date for filing of annual returns is 31st July 2023 for the financial year 2022-2023 (as per Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2023).

(3) The total quantity of plastic waste processed by PWPs and attributed to PIBOs, every year must be made available on the centralised portal developed by CPCB and the website of PWPs.

(4) In case, at any stage, it is found that the details provided by the PWP are false, the plastic waste processor will be debarred by SPCB, as per the process laid down by CPCB, from operating under the EPR framework for one year.

(5) Only registered PWPs under PWM Rules, 2016, as amended, must furnish certificates for plastic waste processing, except in case of the use of plastic waste in road construction. In cases where plastic waste is used in road construction, the PIBOs must furnish a self-declaration certificate in pro forma created by CPCB. The certificate submitted by only registered PWPs must be considered for EPR obligation fulfilment by PIBOs.

(6) The pro forma for the certificate must be developed by CPCB. In no case the amount of recycled plastic packaging waste by the entity must be more than the installed capacity of the enterprise. The certificates must be for plastic packaging category-wise and include the GST info of the entity.

(7) The certificate for plastic packaging waste submitted by registered PWPs must be in the name of registered PIBOs or Local authorities, as applicable, depending upon agreed modalities. CPCB shall develop a mechanism for issuing such certificates on the centralised portal.

(8) The PWPs undertaking end-of-life disposal of plastic packaging waste via waste to oil, waste to energy, and cement kilns (co-processing) must furnish information every year according to the prescribed pro forma on the CPCB's centralised portal. These entities must guarantee the disposal of plastic packaging waste according to the relevant rules and guidelines framed by regulatory bodies in an environmentally sound manner.

Fulfilment of Extended Producer Responsibility Obligations

The PIBOs must provide the information of recycling certificates only from registered recyclers, along with the information of quantity sent for end-of-life disposal by 30th June of the subsequent financial year while filing annual returns on the online portal. The online portal cross-checks the details furnished by registered PWPs and PIBOs. If there is any difference, the lower figure is considered towards fulfilling the EPR obligation. The certificates must be subject to verification by PCC/SPCB/CPCB, as the case may be.

Centralised Online Portal

(1) CPCB will establish an online system for registering and filing annual returns by PWPs of plastic packaging waste by 31st March 2022.

(2) The online system developed by CPCB for the registration and filing of returns by PWPs must reflect the details regarding the audit of the recyclers or other waste processors of plastic packaging waste.

(3) The PCC or SPCB must also use the centralised portal developed by CPCB to register plastic waste processors. The centralised portal will act as the single point data repository concerning guidelines and orders related to the implementation of EPR for plastic packaging under PWM Rules, 2016.

(4) Until the online web portal is created, all activities related to EPR implementation under the PWM Rules, 2016, will be done offline.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. What is plastic waste management as per the PWM Rules?

    The PWM by the ULBs in their respective jurisdiction will be as under:-

    (a) plastic waste, which can be recycled, must be channelised to the registered plastic waste recycler. Also, plastic recycling must conform to the Indian Standard: IS 14534:1998, titled Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics, as amended occasionally.

    (b) LBs must encourage the use of plastic waste (commendably the plastic waste which can’t be further recycled) for road construction according to the Indian Road Congress norms or energy recovery or waste to oil etc. The standards and pollution control norms mentioned by the prescribed authority for these technologies must be complied with.

    (c) Thermo set plastic waste must be processed and disposed of according to the guidelines issued from time to time by the CPCB.

    (d) The inert from recycling or processing facilities of plastic waste must be disposed of in compliance with the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2000 or as amended occasionally.

  • 2. How can PWPs generate EPR certificates?

    The registered PWPs can generate EPR certificates for sales made in 2022 - 23 on the centralised EPR portal for plastic packaging till 30th June 2023, which must be accounted for in the Annual Report of 2022 - 23.

  • 3. What are the protocols for compostable plastic materials?

    Determination of the degree of disintegration and degradability of plastic material must be according to the protocols of the IS given in Schedule-I of the PWM rules.

  • 3. What are the protocols of the Indian standards to determine the degree of disintegration and degradability of plastic material?


    IS/ISO 14851: 1999

    Deciding the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials in an aqueous medium - the method by measuring the oxygen demand in a closed respirometer


    IS/ISO 14852: 1999

    Deciding the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials in an aqueous medium - the method by analysis of evolved CO2


    IS/ISO 14853: 2005

    Plastics Determination of the ultimate anaerobic

    biodegradation of plastic materials in an aqueous framework - method by measurement of biogas production


    IS/ISO 14855-1: 2005

    Deciding on the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions - the method by analysis of evolved CO2 (Part-1 General method)


    IS/ISO 14855-2: 2007

    Deciding the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions - the method by analysis of evolved CO2 (Part-2: Gravimetric measurement of CO2 evolved in a laboratory- scale test)


    IS/ISO 15985: 2004 Plastics

    Deciding the ultimate anaerobic biodegradation and disintegration under high-solids anaerobic digestion conditions - methods by analysis of released biogas


    IS/ISO 16929: 2002 Plastics


     Deciding on the degree of disintegration of plastic materials under defined composting conditions in a pilot-scale test


    IS/ISO 17556: 2003 Plastics

    Determination of ultimate aerobic biodegradability in soil by measuring the amount of CO2 evolved and oxygen demand in a respirometer.


    IS/ISO 20200:2004 Plastics

    Deciding the degree of disintegration of plastic materials under simulated composting conditions in a laboratory-scale test

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