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Biodiversity & Environment

Increased Recycling of E-waste in India

  • 05 Mar 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the government has informed that E-waste recycling has doubled in the country compared to 2017-18.

  • The government has reported that the recycling rate of 10% in 2017-18 has risen to 20% in 2018-19.

E-waste

  • E-Waste is short for Electronic-Waste. It is the term used to describe old, end-of-life or discarded electronic appliances. It includes computers, mobiles, consumer electronics etc.
  • It majorly includes electronic equipment, completely or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes.

Why should E-waste be managed properly?

  • E-waste consists of toxic elements such as Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls and Polybrominated diphenyl.
  • Non-Disposal and burning of e-waste can have serious implications on human health and can cause air, soil pollution and groundwater contamination.

Key Points

  • Production of E-waste in India:
    • According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, India generates about 2 million tonnes (MT) of E-waste annually.
    • India ranks fifth among E-waste producing countries, after the US, China, Japan and Germany.
    • But the government has stated that the E-waste produced in India is lower than estimates by international agencies.
  • Management of E-waste:
    • Producers:
      • The government has implemented the E-waste (Management) Rules (2016) which enforces the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
      • Under EPR principle the producers have been made responsible to collect a certain percentage of E-waste generated from their goods once they have reached their “end-of-life”.
    • State Governments:
      • They have been entrusted with the responsibility for maintaining industrial space for e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities.
      • They are also expected to establish measures for protecting the health and safety of workers engaged in the dismantling and recycling facilities for e-waste.
  • Recycling of E-waste:

E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 in supersession of the e-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011.
  • The new E-waste rules included Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamps, as well as other such equipment.
  • For the first time, the rules brought the producers under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), along with targets. Producers have been made responsible for the collection of E-waste and for its exchange.
  • Various producers can have a separate Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) and ensure collection of E-waste, as well as its disposal in an environmentally sound manner.
  • Deposit Refund Scheme has been introduced as an additional economic instrument wherein the producer charges an additional amount as a deposit at the time of sale of the electrical and electronic equipment and returns it to the consumer along with interest when the end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment is returned.
  • The role of State Governments has been also introduced to ensure safety, health and skill development of the workers involved in dismantling and recycling operations.
  • A provision of penalty for violation of rules has also been introduced.
  • Urban Local Bodies (Municipal Committee/Council/Corporation) has been assigned the duty to collect and channelize the orphan products to authorized dismantler or recycler.

Source: TH

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