In news- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has recently published the E-Waste (Management) Draft Rules which shall apply to every Manufacturer, Producer, Recycler, Refurbisher.
About the rules-
- Consumer goods companies and makers of electronics 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.
- The rules also lay out a system of companies securing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) certificates, that certify the quantity of e-waste collected and recycled in a particular year by a company and an organisation may sell surplus quantities to another company to help it meet its obligations (akin to carbon credits).
- Companies will have to register on an online portal and specify their annual production and e-waste collection targets.
- The chief entity that will coordinate the trade of EPR certificates and monitor if companies are meeting their targets is the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
- Companies that don’t meet their annual targets will have to pay a fine or an ‘environmental compensation’ but the draft doesn’t specify the quantum of these fines.
- Companies that fall short can meet a year’s target, even after three years. However, those that meet their targets with a year’s delay will be refunded 85% of their fine, after two years, 60% and 30% after the second and third year respectively.
- The EPR also requires producers to set up e-waste exchange facilities to facilitate collection and recycling, and assign specific responsibility to bulk consumers of electronic products for safe disposal.
India is unique among South Asian countries, in that it has a formal set of rules for e- waste management, first announced in 2016 and amended in 2018. According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, India generates about 2 million tonnes (MT) of e-waste annually and ranks fifth among e-waste producing countries, after the U.S., China, Japan and Germany. Most of India’s e-waste is recycled by the informal sector and under hazardous conditions.
Extra reading- WHO report on e-waste – JournalsOfIndia