GS Paper 3
Source: Live Mint
Context: The government has notified E-waste (management) rules 2022, which will come into force from 1 April next year and apply to every manufacturer, producer refurbisher, dismantler and recycler of e-waste.
Key provisions of the Rules:
- Restricted the use of hazardous substances (such as lead, mercury, and cadmium) in manufacturing electrical and electronic equipment that have an adverse impact on human health and the environment.
- Increased the range of electronic goods covered e.g., laptops, mobile, cameras etc.
- Targets fixed: Producers of electronic goods have to ensure at least 60% of their electronic waste is collected and recycled by 2023 with targets to increase them to 70% and 80% in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
- Companies will report these on an online portal.
- Extended Producer Responsibility Certificates (similar to carbon credit mechanism): This will allow the offsetting of e-waste responsibility to a third party.
- ‘Environmental compensation’ to be provided by the companies that don’t meet their target.
- Role of State Governments: They will earmark industrial space for e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities, undertaking industrial skill development and establishing measures for protecting the health and safety of workers engaged in the dismantling and recycling facilities for e-waste.
- Role of manufacturers:
- Make the end product recyclable
- A component made by different manufacturers be compatible with each other
- Role of Central Pollution Control Board: It shall conduct random sampling of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market to monitor and verify the compliance of reduction of hazardous substances provisions.
Impact of E-Wastes:
Toxins’ harmful health impact on humans includes damage to the brain, heart, liver, kidneys and skeletal system. They can also have a significant effect on neurological and reproductive systems, resulting in sickness and birth abnormalities.
E-Waste refers to all items of electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) and its parts that have been discarded by their owner as waste without the intent of re-use. India is the third-largest e-waste generator in the world after China and the USA (Global E-waste Monitor 2020).
Status of E-waste in India
- One of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world
- 95% of e-waste in India is recycled by the informal sector
Recent government data shows that E-waste recycling has doubled in the country from a rate of 10% in 2017-18 has risen to 20% in 2018-19. What is needed is a sound market-based incentive that encourages both demand and supply-side factors to voluntarily adopt e-waste recycling. In this respect, the e-waste clinic at Bhopal is a pilot project wherein e-waste will be collected door-to-door or could be deposited directly at the clinic in exchange for a fee, which needs to be studied for its success.
Q. The Electronic waste, or e-waste, is one of the fastest-growing waste streams worldwide. Discuss the measures that are needed for the safe disposal of e-waste in the country. (250 Words)