E-waste management has today become the need of the hour. Every country, every government, is busy thinking about how to manage the e-waste crisis efficiently. While many countries have been able to come up with innovative solutions, there are countries whose environment and standard of living have been affected badly by this crisis.
So, where does India stand in terms of e-waste management?
In today’s article, we will be talking about e-waste management in India. What are the legal measures taken so far, and how well has India been able to protect the environment from the hazards of e-waste.
E-waste Management and India
In a report published by the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, it has been found that India generates about 2 million tonnes (MT) of e-waste, making it the fifth-largest e-waste producing country after the US, China, Japan, and Germany.
What has been done from the legislative standpoint?
India has had laws for e-waste management since 2011. The primary goal of the e-waste (management and handling) Rules, 2011 was to recognize the producers’ liability for recycling and to reduce e-waste in the country. Another law, the E-waste (Management) Rule, 2016, was enacted in October 2017, putting over 21 products (Schedule-I) under the purview of the rule. The rule also extended its purview to components and consumables or parts or spares of Electrical and Electronic Equipment along with their product. Further, this law also consolidated the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) by introducing a new arrangement called Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO).
But despite the rules introduced by the government to safely process e-waste, e-waste continues to be a crisis in India.
Close to 80 percent of e-waste — old laptops and cell phones, cameras and air conditioners, televisions, and LED lamps — continues to be broken down by the informal sector, costing heavily in terms of health and environmental, polluting groundwater and soil.
What can we do?
There has been a lot of debate and discussion on how to control the e-waste management crisis both on national as well as global levels. But we continue to contaminate our environment, consequently deteriorating the overall quality of life. This is especially a big issue in developing countries since a lot of developed countries use them as dumping grounds for their e-waste.
So, what can we do?
Whether you are an individual or someone running a business that produces e-waste, you can contribute to improving the e-waste management crisis.
Here are some of the simple yet effective ways to help improve the e-waste management crisis.
1. Upgrade responsibly
Every time you decide to upgrade your phone, laptop, desktop, etc., you either end up throwing your old device in the trash, or it just lies around at your home for a couple of years until it is thrown away in the trash.
When you throw away your e-waste, it usually ends up in landfills contaminating it. Further, it also increases the risk of contaminating nearby water bodies.
So, the next time you want to upgrade any of your electronic devices, give them to a certified recycler instead of just throwing them away in the trash.
This will help improve the e-waste management crisis and help recover precious metals such as gold, silver, etc.
2. Go for a certified recycler.
With the rise in awareness related to e-waste management, there has been a rise in demand for e-waste recyclers as well. This has led to new e-waste management service providers, but many do not even have proper certifications.
Many e-waste recyclers without proper certification end up dumping e-waste in landfills without adequately treating the e-waste. This has only added further to the current e-waste management crisis.
So, the next time you are looking to recycle or responsibly dispose of your e-waste, go for a recycler with proper certification.
3. EPR Services
If you have a business that produces e-waste, then as per the E-waste (Management) Rule, 2016, you are supposed to have a proper ERP to ensure that all your e-waste is being disposed of responsibly.
Thus, in order to improve the e-waste management crisis, you need to make sure that you have a proper EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) in place.
Many businesses prefer to outsource their EPR. This enables them to have EPR assistance from professionals as well as gives them the freedom to focus on their business for optimum results.
Now that you understand the state of e-waste management in India and how you can contribute to improving it, we hope you make judicious decisions for a better tomorrow.