Niti Aayog has suggested urban local bodies across states adopt the material recovery facility (MRF) model & implement it as a public-private partnership model for sustainable management of urban plastic waste.
A materials recovery facility, also known as a materials reclamation facility or recycling facility is a specialized plant that receives, separates, and prepares recyclable materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers.
“The MRF model for plastic waste management (PWM) needs to be funded and operated in the public-private partnership model,” NITI Aayog said in a handbook on sustainable urban plastic waste management, jointly released with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Monday.
“The model is initially funded by private players, supported by urban local bodies, and operated by service providers including local organizations and waste management agencies,” it added. According to Niti Aayog-UNDP, this model ensures compliance with regulations and improves resource utilization. However, it feels that the segregation of waste at generation points and the formalization of recycling units by registering as per the rules of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are critical to implementing the MRF model.
“It not only focuses on managing plastic waste but also on the social inclusion and protection of waste pickers by improving their socio-economic conditions,” it said, adding that all stakeholders need to be integrated and institutionalize the complete process for its successful implementation.
The handbook suggests India generates about 3.4 million tonnes of plastic waste per year and about 70% of plastic packaging products are converted into plastic waste within a short period.
In India, the Plastic Waste Management Rules were mandated in 2016, amended in 2018 and 2021, to manage waste at the city level. However, the government feels that plastic waste has emerged as a threat in recent years and needs different models for sustainable plastic waste management.
“While there have been numerous policy interventions to institutionalize PWM, managing solid waste, mainly plastic waste, has been a challenge for urban local bodies across the country,” it added.