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Out of 18 lakh metric tonnes per year India recycles only 5% of e-waste

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By Mirror Desk Updated: Jul 19, 2019 12:01 am
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Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, July 18: The managing director of Institute of Environment and Eco Development India, Indra Narayan Jha said India was among the largest e-waste producers. But only 5% of e-waste is recycled out of the huge generation while the demand for electronics is increasing.
With 18 lakh metric tonnes per year, India is emerging as one of the largest producers of e-waste in the world. It is estimated that by 2020, India will be generating close to 52 lakh metric tonnes.

The Jha was speaking about the e-Waste Management Rules of 2016 at the concluding day of a capacity-building program on six waste management rules on Thur. July 18 in Dimapur.

Jha expressed concern that the challenge was that merely 5% of the total e-waste was getting recycled or reused. The 93% of it is getting routed to the unorganised sector. The problem she said was compounded by the fact that e-waste contains hazardous and toxic elements such as mercury, cadmium, and lead to name a few.

The government is spending huge amounts of money for e-waste awareness activities while there are limited electronic resources which are not infinite.

Further, Jha expressed concern that the e-waste materials are ‘limited’ and ‘if we fail to use them judiciously the electronic materials will be exhausted and this is one main reason why so many rules are being laid down.’

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Plan
EPR plan is an estimation plan of producers. The producer gives its overall scheme to fulfil the EPR for achieving targets and details out the mechanism for collection and to channel e-waste.

Collection targets for producers in India

E-waste Management Rules 2016
According to Jha’s presentation, producer means any person who irrespective of the selling technique that is used such as dealers, retailers, e-retailers to name a few; manufacturers’ offers to sell electrical and electronic equipment and their components of consumables or parts or spares under its own brand or offers to sell under its own brand assembled electrical and electronic equipment and their components of consumables or parts or spares produced by other manufacturers or suppliers.

Emphasising on the producer, he said producers are required to have arrangements with authorised dismantlers/recyclers either individually or collectively or through a producer responsibility organisation (PRO) or e-waste exchange system as spelt in the EPR plan, which is approved/authorised by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Selling or placing electrical electronic equipments in the market by any producer without the EPR authorisation shall be considered as a cause of damage to the environment. This will attract provisions under the Environment Protection Act of 1986.

Duties and responsibilities of stakeholders
The producer is to obtain EPR authorisation, implement the EPR, ensure collection and channelling of the e-waste, create awareness, and maintain records of e-waste handled and to file annual returns.

Consumer and bulk consumer is to ensure that e-waste generated by them is channelled to authorised dismantlers/recyclers. Bulk consumers are to file annual returns.

The collection centre is to collect e-waste on behalf of the producer or dismantlers or recyclers. It is to ensure that the facilities are in accordance with the CPCB’s guidelines. Further, it is to maintain records of the e-waste that have been handled.

The state govt. is to ensure earmarking or allocation of industrial space or shed for e-waste dismantling and recycling in the existing and upcoming industrial park, estate; ensure recognition and registration of the workers involved in dismantling and recycling; assist formation of groups of such workers to facilitate setting up dismantling; undertake industrial skill development activities for the workers involved in dismantling and recycling; prepare integrated plan for effective implementation of these provisions; and to submit report to the ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Economic instrument for implementation of the rules
According to Jha, the deposit refund scheme has been introduced as an optional economic instrument where the producers charge an additional fee as a deposit at the time of sale of the electrical and electronic equipment.

It is returned to the consumer along with the interest when the end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment are returned too.

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By Mirror Desk Updated: Jul 19, 2019 12:01:36 am