As per recent study conducted by Assocham-KPMG, India has emerged as the world’s fifth largest electronic waste (e-waste) producer.
India discards roughly 18.5 lakh tonnes of e-waste each year and telecom equipment alone accounts for 12% of it.
- The study has highlighted the concern of rising levels of e-waste generation in India in recent years.
- India being world’s second largest mobile market with 1.03 billion subscribers, nearly 25% of it end up in e-waste annually.
- The unorganised sector in India is estimated to handle around 95% of the e-waste produced in the country.
- The study has suggested that e-waste collection targets implemented in a phased manner under the current policy should set lower and practically achievable target limits.
- Also, detailed implementation procedures for collection of e-waste from the market need should be prescribed and followed.
Current Policy on e-waste management
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified e-waste management rules, 2016.
- These rules for the first time have time covered under extended producers’ responsibility (EPR) of electronics producers.
- It has prescribed a waste collection target of 305 e-waste generated under EPR for the first two years (till 2016) and it will progressively go up to 70% in the seventh year of the rule.
- These rules also have prescribed stringent financial penalties for non-compliance.