With the growing dependency on electronic products, e-waste management in India has gained urgent importance. In recent years, the global market for electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has grown exponentially while the useful life of these products has become shorter and shorter. This rapid update of electronic products forces consumers to dispose of old electronic products very quickly, which in turn contributes to the solid waste stream, also known as electronic waste.
Today, e-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. According to the latest Global E-waste Monitor report, 53.6 million tonnes worth of electronics was discarded globally in 2019, an increase of 21 percent in 5 years. While India ranked third in generating 3.2 million tons of e-waste in 2019, China and the United States ranked first with 10.1 million tons and 6.9 million tons, respectively. It is estimated that it will generate 52.2 million tons by 2021 (predicted by the joint ASSOCHAM-EY report entitled “E-Waste Management in India”).
While major waste generators like computer equipment and cell phones have already made the situation worse, the Covid19 pandemic has added even more misery. The usage of electronic products is only increasing and is projected to exceed 100 million tons by 2050 if appropriate measures are not discovered. Hence, this global challenge requires initiatives from local businesses or companies, or policymakers to give hope for a better future of e-waste management in India.
The fact that the recycling capacity of e-waste in India is less than 2 percent of the electricity generated shows the poor state of the infrastructure of e-waste management in India.
The Scenario of E-waste Management in India
E-waste management in India, as an industry is mainly dominated by the informal sector. The disposal procedures for e-waste and the additional tax burden for recycling processes have also worsened the improvement in e-waste management in India.
The current government’s pledge to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022 raised concerns about the accumulation of a new category of waste, with several companies in the formal and informal sectors trading in foreign products and posing a threat to health and safety. Therefore, the implementation of e-waste management must face challenges in order to avoid dangerous effects on human health and the environment.
The Potential of E-waste Management in India
Currently, approximately 95% of India’s e-waste is recycled in the informal sector with negligible regard to safety measures. There is immense potential to increase e-waste recycling in the country. The recycling of electronic waste eliminates life-threatening pollutants. Initiatives such as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT)’s e-waste awareness program, together with industry associations, create a strong awareness. The disposal of e-waste is becoming a major public health problem and is increasing exponentially by the day. It is the requirement of the hour that sustainable methods be opted, which would include effective collection, treatment, and waste disposal, instead of going to conventional landfills and open incineration.
The Indian government needs to put in place robust mechanisms for the safe and sustainable handling and treatment of e-waste. This can be done through information campaigns, capacity building, and awareness programs that promote environmentally friendly e-waste disposal programs. Greater efforts are urgently needed to improve current collection systems and management practices. Its own carbon footprint and its contribution to environmental degradation. The packaging material means that a large part of the waste is disposed of in municipal landfills. Recycling packaged cardboard boxes not only protects the environment from deterioration by reducing pollution, it also saves valuable resources and creates jobs. , the e-waste industry has more questions than answers. The way forward is only a well thought out and regulated e-waste disposal and recovery system that ushers in a greener future.
It is imperative that businesses concentrate on secure and safe e-waste management in India for a sustainable future. Fortunately, there are companies that help in proper e-waste management, ensuring the negative impact of e-waste is minimal.
GreenTek Reman is one of India’s top e-waste management and ITAD companies that helps businesses in the safe disposal of their e-waste while ensuring all safety rules are followed. They enable businesses in the implementation of a circular economy business model, which is the key to a sustainable future.