This article is about the current scenario of e-waste management in India and the road ahead. At present India is the fifth largest producer of e-waste. Apart from that India is also one of the largest importers of e-waste. In such a scenario if e-waste is not handled and managed in a proper way then it will create environmental challenges.
Before moving ahead let’s take a look at:
some facts about e-waste in India
- India is likely to produce 5.2 Million Tonnes of e-waste in the year 2020(as per the ASSOCHAM report).
- India is the fifth largest producer of e-waste.
- India is one of the largest importers of e-waste. This trend is likely to continue given the fact that China has stopped importing e-waste from other countries.
- Around 80-90% of the e-waste is handled by the Informal Sector.
Law related to e-waste management in India
Only in the year, 2011 Parliament of India had made a law E-waste (Management and Handling ) Rules of 2011 to deal with the problem of e-waste. This law introduced the concept of Extended Producers Responsibility. As per this provision, it will be the duty of the Manufacturer of the electronics items to collect some part of e-waste generated through their sale.
The above law was replaced by the E-waste Management Rules of 2016, which was again amended in the year 2018. This latest amendment has given the target to the producers of the electronics goods to collect the 20% of the e-waste generated through their sale in the year 2018. This target will increase by 10% annually until it will reach 70% by 2023.
India is likely to produce 5.2 Million Tonnes of e-waste in India in the year 2020. The aggregate rate of growth of the generation of e-waste domestically is 30 percent. Apart from that, it will import around 1 Million Tonnes of e-waste from other countries in the year 2020.
To deal with such a grave situation the government has authorized around 180 e-waste recycler to recycle, dismantle and decompose the electronics waste in a scientifically and environment-friendly manner.
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY) has developed various affordable technologies to recycle and dispose of the e-waste in a scientific and environment-friendly manner. Such technology includes two exclusive PCB(Printed Circuit Board) recycling technologies viz 1000kg/Day capacity and 1000Kg/Batch, which process the PCB in an environment-friendly manner. These technologies are already given for commercialization.
E-Parisara became the first government-authorized e-waste recycler in India. Its first branch was opened in Banglore in September 2005. From then its branches have been opened in the various other cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Grugram, Kollata.
Around 25-30% of the weight of e-waste contains the plastic which can be recycled and reused. New technology and methodologies have been developed to recover and convert the e-waste plastic which can be reused. New technology is able to use around 80% of the e-waste plastic for virgin plastic products.
The high-grade metals like gold, silver, copper along with rare earth metals can be separated from e-waste to reuse. India lacks rare earth minerals which are highly used in electronics goods. Electronics waste recycled rare earth minerals could be a potential source of these minerals.
There is immense potential in augmenting the e-waste recycling capacity. This is more so because China has already banned the import of e-waste since 2018. India has taken some forward direction in e-waste recycling and management but more needed.
For augment the potential of proper management and recycling of electronics waste following.
Steps needs to be taken:
- Awareness Campaign
- Skill Development of the person involved in these industries.
- A proper system of collection and movement of e-waste to the organized sector.
- Introduction of advanced technology.
- Proper implementation of the law to avoid the illegal dumping, burning, landfilling of e-waste.
- An incentive for the users to give their old electronic gadgets to the authorized recycler will be a good step in this direction.
India is the fifth-largest producer of e-waste and one of the leading importer of e-waste. But around 80% of e-waste is handled by the informal sector without proper skill and use of technology. This situation has lead to environmental pollution as well as loss of rare earth metal which can be reused if extracted properly.
As per an estimate by ASSOCHAM India is likely to produce 5.2 Million Tonnes of e-waste in the year 2020.
Central Pollution Control Board along with State Pollution Control Boards are responsible for the regulation of e-waste management in India.
There is a need to take some steps to deal with e-waste in India. These are
Skill development of persons involved in e-waste management.
Introduction of advanced technology.
A proper system of e-waste collection.
Establishment of more registered e-waste recycler.
Effective implementation of e-waste Management Laws