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  • 10 January, 2023

  • 7 Min Read

E-WASTE In India

E-WASTE In India

  • India is now considering a switch to two standard chargers for all mobile phone brands and portable electrical gadgets, which will aid in the fight against e-waste.
  • Similarly, the European Union (EU) has mandated that the USB-C port be standard on all devices by mid-2024, including Apple's iPhone, which now utilizes its own standard.
  • Consumers in the European Union would no longer need to buy new charging devices and cables every time they bought a new phone under the new rule.

What is E-Waste?

  • E-Waste is an abbreviation for Electronic-Waste, and it refers to old, obsolete, or abandoned electronic appliances. It comprises their parts, consumables, and spares.
  • It is divided into 21 types, which are divided into two basic categories: information technology and communication equipment.
  • Electronics and electrical appliances for the general public.
  • Since 2011, India has had e-waste management laws in place that require only authorized dismantlers and recyclers to collect e-waste. In 2017, the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 were enacted.
  • In Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India's first e-waste clinic for trash segregation, processing, and disposal from households and business units has been established.
  • Initially, the Basel Convention (1992) made no mention of e-waste, but it eventually addressed the issue in (COP8), 2006.

More Information and facts:

  • Only 22.7% of the total 10, 14,961.21 tonnes of e-waste created in India in 2019-20 was collected, deconstructed, recycled, or disposed of.
  • According to the UN Global E-Waste Monitor Report, India is the world's third largest generator of e-waste, trailing only China and the United States.
  • Maharashtra produces the most e-waste of any Indian state.
  • The states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, and Haryana have the greatest capacity to disassemble and recycle e-waste.
  • Because e-waste is not frequently included in the list of municipal solid garbage, cities are not required to collect, transport, and handle it.

About E-waste (Management) rules 2022:

  • It will apply to any manufacturer, producer, refurbisher, dismantler, or recycler involved in the production, sale, transfer, or purchase of e-waste or electrical and electronic equipment, as well as the refurbishing, dismantling, recycling, and processing of such equipment.
  • The rule covers all electrical devices and radiotherapy equipment, nuclear medical equipment and accessories, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), electric toys, air conditioners, microwaves, tablets, washing machines, refrigerators, and iPads, among other things.
  • Following the deaths caused by radioactive material exposure, the government has limited the use of hazardous substances in the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).
  • It requires the use of less lead, mercury, and cadmium in the manufacture of electrical equipment, among other things.
  • Manufacturers must employ technology or procedures to make the end product recyclable, and they must ensure that components or parts made by various manufacturers are compatible with one another in order to decrease the amount of e-waste.
  • Strict monitoring: The Central Pollution Control Board is required to undertake random sampling of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market in order to monitor and verify compliance with hazardous substance reduction rules.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility Certificates: The proposed laws aim to incentivize registered electronic waste recyclers by adopting EPR certificates, or Extended Producer Responsibility certificates (which was not part of 2016 Rules).

About E-Waste Management Rules, 2016:

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change issued the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016, which replaced the E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011.
  • Over 21 products (Schedule-I) were included in the rule's scope. It includes Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) and other mercury-containing lamps, as well as other equipment of the same type.
  • For the first time, the rules imposed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on producers, along with targets. Producers are now responsible for the collection and exchange of E-waste.
  • Various producers can form their own Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) to ensure the collection and disposal of E-waste in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • As an additional economic instrument, the Deposit Refund Scheme has been introduced, in which 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.
  • State governments have also been tasked with ensuring the safety, health, and skill development of workers involved in dismantling and recycling activities.
  • A mechanism for a penalty for rule violations has also been added.

What are the Issues Concerning E-Waste Management in India?

People are less involved:

  • One major reason for used electrical equipment not being recycled was that consumers did not recycle them.
  • However, in recent years, countries all around the world have attempted to enact effective 'right to repair' legislation.

Child Labor:

  • In India, around 4.5 lakh child laborers between the ages of 10 and 14 are spotted working in various E-waste yards and recycling businesses without proper protection and safeguards.

Health concerns:

  • Mercury, lead, cadmium, polybrominated flame retardants, barium, and lithium are all metals found in e-waste that is detrimental to human health.
  • Toxins' negative health effects on humans include brain, heart, liver, kidney, and skeletal system damage.

The ecosystem on a global scale:

  • Improper e-waste disposal endangers the global ecosystem.
  • E-waste created in volume: India ranks third in e-waste generation, producing approximately 1.7 lakh metric tonnes per year.

Lack of infrastructure:

  • There is a significant gap between current recycling and collecting facilities and the amount of E-waste created.

Incentives are lacking:

  • There are no clear norms for the unorganized sector to treat E-waste. Furthermore, no incentives are specified to entice those involved in E-waste management to follow a formal career.

What are the E-waste Regulations in India?

  • India has a defined set of laws for electronic waste management, which were initially released in 2016 and modified in 2018.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change recently published a draught notification for Electronic Waste Management.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change issued the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016, which replaced the E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011.
  • Urban Local Bodies (Municipal Committee/Council/Corporation) have been tasked with collecting orphan products and directing them to authorized dismantlers or recyclers.
  • Provision of adequate space for present and future industrial units for e-waste breakdown and recycling.

Suggestions for the next steps:

  • Recycling: To limit the hazardous effects of e-waste, it is vital to successfully e-cycle goods so that they can be recycled, refurbished, resold, or repurposed.
  • Domestic legal framework to solve these loopholes in E-Waste import.
  • Domestic garbage disposal must be addressed safely.
  • Encourage investment in this industry.
  • Connect the activities of the informal and formal sectors.
  • Encourage the use of appropriate ESM recycling methods.
  • Better Policies and Implementation: In India, several entrepreneurs and businesses have begun to collect and recycle electronic garbage. We require improved implementation procedures and inclusion policies that allow and validate the informal sector to step up and assist us to accomplish our recycling targets in an environmentally responsible manner.

Source: The Indian express

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