India 5th Largest Producer Of E-waste In The World

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 03, 2016


India, which has emerged as the world’s second largest mobile market, is also the fifth largest producer of e-waste, according to a recent study, which said the rising levels of e-waste generation in India has been a matter of extreme concern in recent years. 

According to a joint study by Assocham-KPMG, India is discarding roughly 18.5 lakh metric tonnes of electronic waste every year. The telecom equipment alone accounting for 12 percent of the e-waste. With more than 100 crore mobile phones in circulation, nearly 25 per cent end up in e-waste annually, it said. 

“India has surely emerged as the second largest mobile market with 1.03 billion subscribers, but also the fifth largest producer of e-waste in the world, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh metric tonnes of electronic waste each year with telecom equipment alone accounting for 12 per cent of the e-waste,” the study said.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified e-waste management rules, 2016 in which producers are for the first time covered under extended producers’ responsibility (EPR). The phased manner for implementation of e-waste collection targets needs to be introduced.  

The rules prescribe a waste collection target of 30 percent waste generated under EPR for the first two years, progressively going up to 70 per cent in the seventh year of the rule. The rules prescribe stringent financial penalties for non-compliance. The guidelines should be issued by DoT with respect to locations of tower and clearance requirements should be adopted across states to smoothen tower set up process.

Ideally given the huge user base and vast reach of telecom in India, it is practically difficult and expensive for the handset manufacturers to achieve the targets prescribed in the rules from first year, the study said. 

However, the study said that the unorganized sector in India is estimated to handle around 95 per cent of the e-waste produced in the country. “It is suggested that e-waste collection targets are implemented in a phased manner with lower and practically achievable target limits. Also, detailed implementation procedures for collection of e-waste from the market needs to be followed,” it added.