E-Waste Management

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) released a report on the circular economy in the Indian electronics sector, focusing on e-waste management.
  • A circular economy aims to reintroduce e-waste components and precious metals into new electronics, reducing waste.

Report Suggestions

  • The ICEA report suggests public-private partnerships to establish a comprehensive reverse supply chain for e-waste.
  • Recommendations include creating auditable databases of collected materials and developing recycling clusters.
  • Incentivizing high-yield recycling centres is crucial for maximizing product value.
  • Encouraging repair and product durability is another policy recommendation to reduce environmental impact.
  • The report suggests harnessing e-waste for economic opportunities and sustainability.

E-Waste Management in India

  • E-Waste stands for Electronic Waste, referring to discarded electronic appliances and their components.
  • E-waste management in India is primarily informal, with about 90% of collection and 70% of recycling handled by the informal sector.
  • Informal sector specializes in salvaging older devices for parts and repairs.
  • Industrial hubs like Moradabad extract precious metals like gold and silver from printed circuit boards (PCBs).
  • Policy measures are needed to encourage manufacturers to reuse old components, as seen in China’s efforts.
Challenges in E-Waste Management in India
  • Limited involvement of people in recycling electronic devices.
  • Involvement of child labour in E-waste activities.
  • Ineffective legislation and lack of public information.
  • Health hazards from toxic materials in E-waste.
  • Lack of incentive schemes for the unorganized sector.
  • Cross-border flow of waste equipment into India.
  • Reluctance and lack of coordination among authorities.
  • Security implications, as end-of-life computers may contain sensitive data.

Provisions regarding E-Waste in India:

  • India has had laws to manage e-waste since 2011, with the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 enacted in 2017.
  • E-Waste Management Rules, 2016, amended in 2018.
  • The Union Government introduced the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022 to digitize and monitor e-waste management.
  • Producers under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for collection and disposal.
  • Introduction of Deposit Refund Scheme.
  • Role of State Governments in ensuring safety and skill development.
  • Penalties for rule violations.
  • Urban Local Bodies tasked with collection and channelization of orphan products.
  • Allocation of space for e-waste dismantling and recycling.

E-Waste Recycling Practices in India

  • Informal sector handles 95% of e-waste, while the formal sector manages 5%.
  • Non-formal units collect, disassemble, and chemically treat e-waste.
  • Formal sector uses advanced processes and technologies, leading to efficient recovery.
  • Recycling in the formal sector is economically viable due to shared capital equipment.
  • Formal recycling has high efficiency and recovers trace-level metals.

Preliminary steps in E-Waste Disposal and Management

  • Purchase fewer items and opt for recyclable or long-lasting products.
  • Donate or give away electronics that are no longer needed.
  • Consider selling unused electronic products.
  • Raise awareness about e-waste recycling possibilities.

Way Forward

  • Engage with informal sector workers for better e-waste management.
  • Generate employment through cooperatives and expansion of E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016.
  • Encourage consumer participation in responsible e-waste disposal.

Get free UPSC Updates straight to your inbox!

Get Updates on New Notification about APPSC, TSPSC and UPSC

Get Current Affairs Updates Directly into your Inbox

Discover more from AMIGOS IAS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading