Six months after they were forced to shut down following a government order, plastic recycling units in special economic zones (SEZs) are set to restart operations soon, using imported virgin scrap as raw material.
The Union Ministry of Commerce has already sent its recommendations to the Ministry of Environment and Forest in this respect, urging it to issue a notification that would allow these units to function again. The notification is expected soon.
If made operational again, 27 plastic recycling units across the three SEZ at Kandla, Falta and Noida would get a new lease of life and would start processing virgin plastic scrap for producing plastic products for export. Before closure, these recycling units were using imported virgin and used plastic scrap as raw material.
“We have made several representations to the Union Ministry of Commerce to grant permission to restart recycling units in these three SEZs by using imported virgin plastic scrap from the US and othe countries as raw materials,” said Mukesh Parekh, Spokesperson, Kandla SEZ
While granting a six-month extension to the Letters of Approval (LOAs) on March 1, 2019, the Ministry of Environment and Forest had granted a window till August 31, 2019 to run these units in the three SEZs.
But after August 31, these units have remained shut.
According to these units, imported plastic scrap was wrongly classified as a hazardous or street waste, instead of a production- or factory-based waste that doesn’t have a major impact on the environment.