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E-Waste Management In India

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.