E-Waste Management In India:
The Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) released a report on ‘Pathways to Circular Economy in Indian Electronics Sector’ in collaboration with NITI Aayog, aiming to explore opportunities for managing electronic waste (e-waste) more effectively.
- E-waste refers to all items of electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) and its parts that have been discarded by their owner as waste without the intent of re-use.
- India is the third-largest e-waste generator in the world after China and the USA (Global E-waste Monitor 2020).
- E-waste management in India is predominantly informal, with roughly 90% of collection and 70% of recycling handled by the informal sector.
- The level of e-waste is expected to grow due to cheaper phones and increased usage.
- In November 2022, the Ministry of Environment and Forests notified the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022, (which came into force on April 1, 2023) to digitize the e-waste management process and provide more transparency in handling e-waste.
Provisions of the E-Waste (Management) Rules 2022:
- Restricted the use of hazardous substances (such as lead, mercury, and cadmium) in manufacturing electrical and electronic equipment that have an adverse impact on human health and the environment.
- Increased coverage: It has increased the range of electronic goods covered e.g., laptops, mobile, cameras etc.
- Producers of electronic goods have to ensure at least 60% of their electronic waste is collected and recycled by 2023 with targets to increase them to 70% and 80% in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
- Companies will report these on an online portal.
- Extended Producer Responsibility Certificates (similar to carbon credit mechanism): This will allow the offsetting of e-waste responsibility to a third party.
- ‘Environmental compensation’ to be provided by the companies that don’t meet their target.
- Role of State Governments: They will earmark industrial space for e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities, undertaking industrial skill development and establishing measures for protecting the health and safety of workers engaged in the dismantling and recycling facilities for e-waste.
- A component made by different manufacturers be compatible with each other
- The Central Pollution Control Board shall conduct random sampling of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market to monitor and verify the compliance of reduction of hazardous substances provisions.