Elaborate on India’s e-waste management rule, 2017. Discuss challenges of e-Waste management in India and how to overcome that
- January 20, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPS Topics
India is one of the biggest producers of e-waste in the world, The Global E-waste Monitor 2017. India collected just 10 per cent of the electronic waste (e-waste) estimated to have been generated in the country 2018-19 and 3.5 per cent of that in the generated in 2017-18, said a recent report by the Central Pollution Control Board.
E waste management rules 2017
- The e-waste collection targets under EPR have been revised and will be applicable from 1 October 2017. The phase-wise collection targets for e-waste in weight shall be 10% of the quantity of waste generation as indicated in the EPR Plan during 2017-18, with a 10% increase every year until 2023. After 2023 onwards, the target has been made 70% of the quantity of waste generation as indicated in the EPR Plan.
- The quantity of e-waste collected by producers from the 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017 shall be accounted for in the revised EPR targets until March 2018.
- Separate e-waste collection targets have been drafted for new producers, i.e. those producers whose number of years of sales operation is less than the average lives of their products. The average lives of the products will be as per the guidelines issued by CPCB from time to time.
- Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) shall apply to the Central Pollution Control board (CPCB) for registration to undertake activities prescribed in the Rules.
- Under the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) provisions, cost for sampling and testing shall be borne by the government for conducting the RoHS test. If the product does not comply with RoHS provisions, then the cost of the test will be borne by the Producers.
- State Government to prepare integrated plan for effective implementation of these provisions, and to submit annual report to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- The transportation of e – waste shall be carried out as per the manifest system whereby the transporter shall be required to carry a document (three copies) prepared by the sender, giving the details.
- Liability for damages caused to the environment or third party due to improper management of e – waste including provision for levying financial penalty for violation of provisions of the Rules has also been introduced.
- Urban Local Bodies (Municipal Committee/Council/Corporation) has been assign the duty to collect and channelized the orphan products to authorized dismantler or recycler.
- CPCB noted that capacity of one dismantlers increased eight times without any increase in corresponding shed area by the United Nations University,
- According to CPCB, there are 214 authorised recyclers/dismantlers in India.
- According to many studies, about 95 per cent of India’s e-waste is recycled in the informal sector and in a crude manner.
- These cause severe pollution in air, water and soil and severely affects the worker’s health (see ‘Informal and invisible’) over 95 per cent of e-waste recycling is done by the informal sector.
- One of the major hubs in India, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, was in the news recently when the National Green Tribunal (NGT) fined the district magistrate and State Pollution Control Board for not being able to tackle the black powder waste lying on the banks of Ramgangariver.
- HUGE GAPS in compliance of electronic waste-management rules show authorities’ lack of concern for health of the citizens, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) cases of assaults but there is no adequate action
- Petty benefit of retrieving metals etc., the poor labour class is engaged in burning electronic wires or other waste to the detriment of their own health and also the health of others which is not being duly checked… Constant vigilance is required
- 95 per cent of e-waste in India is recycled by the informal sector and scrap dealers unscientifically dispose it by burning or dissolving it in acids.
- Illegal recycling and processing of e-waste is concentrated in a few hotspots in the state. Seelampur in New Delhi is a hub, and Loni, Baghpat and Moradabad in UP are the hotspots.
- E-waste or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) are loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, broken, electrical or electronic devices.
- In India most of the waste electronic items are stored at households as people do not know how to discard them.
- Lead enters biological systems via food, water, air, and soil. Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning – more so than adults because they absorb more lead from their environment and their nervous system and blood get affected. It is found that the e-waste recycling activities had contributed to the elevated blood lead levels in children living in China
Steps to overcome
- The sustainability of e-waste management systems has to be ensured by improving the collection and recycling systems. It would be desirable to establish public-private partnerships in setting up buy-back or drop-off centers.
- Levying advance recycling fees is another approach to ensure waste management sustainability. To identify best e-waste management technologies across the globe and adopt them successfully can be key to a sustainable futuristic growth.
- The reduction of the hazardous substances in the electronic and electrical equipments and the promotion of use of their safer substitutes many countries have adopted the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)
- Regulations in the manufacture of these itemsmajor effects of e-waste on environment include groundwater pollution, acidification of soil and contamination of ground water, and air pollution due to burning of plastic and other remnants.
- The inability to reliably source e-waste quantities that create economies of scale restricts entry of private players, such as PROs to set up e-waste management systems in the formal sector. For example, employing effective recycling technologies for e-waste may require significant upfront capital expenditures
- E-waste also contains plastic, up to nearly 25 per cent of its weight. Novel recovery and conversion of e-waste plastics to value-added products have also been successfully developed.
- The developed process is capable of converting a majority (76 per cent) of the waste plastics into suitable materials, which could be used for virgin plastic products.
- ProfessorVeenaSahajwalla, an expert, suggests setting up micro-factories in India that can transform e-waste into reusable material to be converted into ceramics and plastic filaments for 3D printing.
- The high-grade metals — like gold, silver, copper and palladium — in the e-waste can be separated for re-sale in conditions that are totally safe.
- Micro-factories can create filament with plastic by compressing the waste in a temperature controlled area.
- The first step would be to more explicitly recognize (like in the case of Municipal Solid Waste Rules in 2016) the informal sector as a critical stakeholder in any future e-waste regime
- The government should institute a platform that facilitates consultations among various stakeholders such as the informal sector workers, NGOs working with the informal sector, third party private entities such as PROs and registered recyclers and manufacturers. Such forums could be constituted under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) at the central level and under the State Departments of Environment at the state level.
- SPCBs and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will still be required to monitor and enforce compliance with the standards specified for collection centres, dismantlers, recyclers and PROs. The MoEFCC must make the regulatory actions related to e-waste transparent.
- E-waste imports: Under the existing regulations, e-waste is not allowed to be imported for final disposal but can be imported for reuse and recycling. In the absence of adequate infrastructure in the country for recycling, we should seriously consider banning all kinds of imports, similar to what China did recently
- Public awareness: The current e-waste regulations require the producers to provide, on their websites, information on the impacts of e-waste, appropriate disposal practices and such other issues.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has initiated an e-waste awareness programme under Digital India, along with industry associations from 2015, to create awareness among the public about the hazards of e-waste recycling by the unorganised sector, and to educate them about alternate methods of disposing their e-waste.
The programme stresses the need for adopting environment friendly e-waste recycling practices. The programme has adopted the best practices for e-waste recycling available globally, so that this sector could generate jobs as well as viable business prospects for locals.
Development of waste recycling technologies The MeitY has developed affordable technologies to recycle valuable materials and plastics in an environmentally sound manner, including two exclusive PCB recycling technologies, viz 1000 kg/ day capacity (~35 MT e-waste) and 100kg/batch (~3.5MT e-waste) processes, with acceptable environmental norms
Immense potential is there in augmenting e-waste recycling in the country. There are some forward movements in this direction, however, lots of ground has to be covered through awareness campaign, skill development, building human capital and introduction of technology while adopting adequate safety measures in the country’s informal sector.