Become a green entrepreneur by establishing your plastic waste recycling plant in India.

For a plastic recycling plant set up in India or registering as a plastic recycler, an individual must first fulfil the norms framed by the respective State or Central Pollution Control Board (S/CPCB). The plastic waste recycler must register under SPCB, and while doing so, s/he has to set up the recycling machinery. The machinery helps the recycler manufacture granules from plastic waste to trade in the Indian markets.

Plastic Waste Recycling Plant Setup - Overview

Shockingly, as per a few studies, plastic may take 20 to 500 years to decompose in landfills. This, in return, leads to environmental pollution and harms human health. Thus, limiting the use of plastic or plastic waste recycling is important. Considering the scenario, the Government of India (GoI) and PCBs/PCCs are framing rules to regulate plastic waste management. The rules help a person to establish a plastic waste recycling plant in India quickly. The norms are as per the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016. Their amendments are also included. Read on to know more.

PWM Rules, 2016 and the amendments made

The PWM Rules, 2016, apply to every waste generator, including the actual users of Plastic scrap, PIBO, local bodies, etc.

These rules instruct plastic waste generators to -

  • Not to litter the plastic waste
  • follow measures to reduce plastic waste generation
  • guarantee segregated waste storage at the source and hand it over as per the rules. The rules also outline the responsibilities of gram panchayats, local bodies, waste generators, street vendors and retailers for effective plastic waste management. Also, the rules highlight the norms and obligations of recyclers that one must know before proceeding with a plastic recycling plant setup in India.

Moreover, the PWM Rules also mention the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) guidelines. These guidelines offer a framework for implementing the EPR. Besides PIBO, the guidelines define the roles and responsibilities of plastic waste recyclers and waste processors for effective implementation. The following section describes the definitions given in the rules for better understanding.


Recycling implies the process of converting segregated plastic waste into raw material or a new product for producing new products;

Recyclers are entities involved in the plastic waste recycling process;

Reuse means using resource material or an object again. This can be used for either the same or another purpose. But this must be without changing the object’s structure and

The use of recycled plastic implies using recycled plastic. It is used rather than virgin plastic. Recycled plastic is used as raw material in manufacturing.

Conditions imposed for effective plastic waste management

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

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

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

(c) carry bag produced of recycled or virgin plastic must not be less than fifty microns in thickness;

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

(e) plastic sheet or like, which is not an intrinsic part of multilayered 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 damage the product’s functionality;

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

(g) 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.

(h) The seller or manufacturers of compostable plastic carry bags must 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.

Plastic Waste Management

(1) The PWM by the urban local bodies (ULBs) in their respective jurisdiction must be as follows:-

(a) The inert from plastic scrap recycling or processing facilities must be disposed of according to the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2000 or as amended occasionally.

(b) Recyclable plastic waste must be channelised to the registered plastic waste recycler. Also, plastic waste recycling must conform to the Indian Standard: IS 14534:1998.

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.

Marking or labelling

Every person intending to set up a plastic waste recycling plant in India must keep a note of the following -

Each recycled carry bag must bear a mark or a label “recycled”. This must be the same as given below. It must also conform to the Indian Standard: IS 14534: 1998. It is termed as “Guidelines for Recycling of Plastics”. It is amended from time to time;


  • HDPE - High-density polyethene,
  • PET - Polyethylene terephthalate,
  • V - Vinyl (PVC),
  • LDPE - Low-density polyethene,
  • PS - Polystyrene,
  • PP - Polypropylene, and
  •  Other - for all other resins and multi-materials. It includes PPO (Polyphenylene oxide) and ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Add to it PC (Polycarbonate). PBT (polybutylene terephthalate), etc., are also included.

PWM Rules Registration of Recyclers

(1) No person must recycle multilayered packaging or plastic bags or manufacture carry bags unless the person has obtained an SPCB NOC or registration from the PCC, as the case may be, before commencing the production.

(2) Every person processing or recycling waste or intending the same must apply to PCC/SPSCB for granting State Pollution NOC and registration or its renewal for the plastic waste recycling plant set up in Form II.

(3) The person intending to set up a plastic waste recycling plant in India must provide the following details and documents as per Form II

  • 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)
  • Waste generation in processing plastic-waste
  • Incorporation certificate
  • Waste collection and transportation
  • MOA
  • Waste disposal details
  • GST registration
  • Details of plastic waste proposed to be acquired through sale, auction, contract or import, as the case may be, for using as raw material
  • Occupational safety and health aspects
  • Pollution Control Measures
  • DGFT licence

(4) The PCC or SPCB shall not renew or issue registration to plastic waste recycling plants or processing units unless it possesses valid consent, I.e., CTE and CTO under the Air (P & C of Pollution) Act, 1981 and the Water (P & C of Pollution) Act, 1974 and a certificate of registration issued by the DIC or District Industries Centre or any other authorised government agency.

(5) On receiving the complete application for the registration of plastic waste recycling plant under sub-rule (3), the SPCB, after such necessary inquiry and on being satisfied that the recycler has technical capabilities, appropriate facilities, enough industrial or converted land and equipment to handle plastic waste safely, grants registration to the applicant on fulfilment of the conditions as framed in terms of registration.

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

(7) The PWM Rules Registration granted must initially be valid for one year unless suspended, revoked or cancelled and subsequently be granted for three years.

(8) PCC or SPCB must not suspend, revoke or cancel the registration without giving a chance of a hearing to the person involved in plastic waste recycling.

(9) Every renewal application registration of plastic waste recycling plant setup 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 recycling must prepare & submit 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 -

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

Guidelines on EPR for Plastic Waste Recyclers

Obligated Entities

The plastic waste recycler comes under the category of Plastic Waste Processors as covered under the EPR obligations and provisions of the guidelines.

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

EPR Registration for plastic waste recycling plant set up in India

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

  • (i) Producer (P);
  • (ii) Importer (I);
  • (iii) Brand owner (BO);
  • (iv) Plastic Waste Processor (PWP) involved in -
  • (v) recycling;
  • (vi) industrial composting;
  • (vii) waste to oil; and
  • (viii) waste to energy.

(b) The plastic waste recycler registration under the PWP category must be done by PCC/SPCB through the centralised EPR portal created by CPCB.

(c) Entities initiating their business in a specific year and putting their products on the market in that year must obtain EEPR target obligations from the subsequent year.

2. The plastic waste recycler must not conduct any business or granules manufacturing without registration obtained via a centralised online portal developed by CPCB.

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

4. If it is determined or found that any registered plastic waste recycler on the online portal has furnished false information or there is any irregularity or deviation from the conditions stipulated or has willfully concealed information while obtaining registration under EPR guidelines, then the registration of such a recycler will be reversed for a one year after allowing a chance to be heard. The recycler with reversed registration will not be able to register afresh for the revocation period.

5. While registering, the person intending to start a plastic waste recycling plant in India must furnish the following -

  • GST Number
  • PAN Number
  • CIN of the company
  • 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 PIBOs, 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 plastic waste recyclers, PIBOs and end-of-life processors in case of non-fulfilment of obligations established in these guidelines, and the same must be notified. The policies for Environmental Compensation must be updated as needed.

(3) The Environment Compensation, as applicable, must be imposed by the concerned SPCB on the PIBOs operating in their jurisdiction (for PIBOs not operating in more than two UTs/states), Plastic Waste Processors which includes recyclers and other waste processors – waste to oil, waste to energy, 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) The Environment Compensation, as applicable, must be imposed by CPCB on the PIBOs conducting business in more than two states concerning the non-fulfilment of their EPR targets, obligations and responsibilities in these guidelines.

(5) 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 collect 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 Recyclers

(1) All plastic waste recyclers must register with the concerned PCC or SPCB according to provision 13(3) of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, on the centralised portal created by CPCB. The Board must lay down a uniform process for registration within ninety days of the publication of these norms.

(2) The plastic waste recyclers must submit annual returns after the end of every financial year by 30th April of the upcoming financial year on the quantity of plastic waste recycled category-wise according to the suggested pro forma available on the centralised portal of the CPCB. Given that the last date for submitting annual returns will be the 31st July 2023 for the financial year 2022-2023.

(3) The total quantity of plastic waste recycled by the recycler and attributed to PrPIBOs, every year must be made available on the centralised portal of CPCB and the website of the plastic waste recycler.

(4) If at any stage, it is observed that the details provided by the person intending to establish a plastic waste recycling plant in India are false, then the recycler will be debarred by SPCB, according to the process laid down by CPCB, from conducting business under the EPR framework for one year.

(5) Only plastic waste recyclers registered under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, as amended, must give certificates for plastic waste recycling, except in case of the usage of plastic waste in road construction. In a scenario where plastic waste is used in road construction, the PIBOs must furnish a self-declaration certificate in pro forma created by CPCB. The certificate offered by only registered plastic waste recyclers will be considered for the fulfilment of EPR obligations by PIBOs.

(6) The pro forma for the certificate must be generated by CPCB. In no case, the amount of recycled plastic packaging waste by the firm must be more than its installed capacity. The certificates must be for plastic packaging category-wise and include the firm's GST info.

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

(8) The Plastic Waste recycler undertaking end-of-life disposal of plastic packaging waste via waste to oil, waste to energy, and cement kilns (co-processing) must furnish details every year according to the suggested pro forma on the centralised portal created by CPCB. This recycler must ensure the disposal of plastic packaging waste according to the relevant guidelines and rules developed by regulatory bodies in an environmentally sound manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. 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 of 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

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


    IS/ISO 16929: 2002 Plastics


     Deciding of 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 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

  • 2. What is the scope of a plastic waste recycling plant in India?

    The size of the plastic waste recycling market in India touched 8.9 Million Tons in 2022. Experts predict the market will reach 18.5 Million Tons by 2028, showcasing a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 11.3% from 2023 to 2028.

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