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The government allows the import of 95,105 tonnes of PET flakes

New Delhi: After partially lifting the ban on the import of plastic waste a few months back, the government has now finally allowed recyclers to import 95,105 tonnes of PET flakes to feed their plants even as domestic waste collectors and environmentalists express concerns say ing the move will actually dilute India's exist ing policy on dealing with plastic waste caus ing more littering and pressure on landfills.

PET ( Polyethylene Terephthalate ) bottles are a category of single-use plastic of which nearly 90 % of the domestic supply is already recycled. The government had in 2019 imposed a ban on its import as an attempt to promote the domestic waste collection and encourage recyclers to use plastic waste available within the country. The move was then seen as being supportive of rag-pickers as well as recycling industries.

The three-year ban was, however, partially lifted in March, allowing only PET flakes to be imported. Since the import was opposed by many stakeholders, including Recycle India Foundation and Mumbai - based Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Smiriti Manch ( PDUSM ), the issue was referred by the environment ministry to a technical review committee which has now recommended import with certain specific conditions.

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