India extends plastic waste import ban

India has extended a ban on solid plastic waste imports to previously exempted areas.

A statement from its Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said that to “strengthen the environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in the country”, solid plastic waste had been prohibited from import including in special economic zones and by export oriented units.

There are several hundred such areas in which normal regulations are relaxed to encourage business growth.

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) said the Indian Government statement gave no specific date for the start of the restriction, but it understood it would take immediate effect.

It said: “BIR will continue to monitor this issue on behalf of its members and send updates accordingly.”

India has received increased amount of waste imports since China’s ban on these took effect, and the further restrictions are expected to make it more difficult for waste exporters to find acceptable destinations for materials.