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International E-Waste Day

  • Published
    17th Oct, 2022
Context

In a recently released 5th annual International E-Waste Day data, it has been found that hoarding small, unused, dead, or broken plug-in and battery-operated products creates One out of every six products of electronic items, ending to generate e-wastes in the average European household.

About

What is E-waste?

  • E-Waste is short for Electronic-Waste and the term is used to describe old, end-of-life, or discarded electronic appliances. It includes their components, consumables, parts, and spares.
  • It is categorized into 21 types under two broad categories:
  • Information technology and communication equipment.
  • Consumer electrical and electronics.

Key Highlights of the assessment:

  • International E-Waste Day is held on October 14 every year as an opportunity to reflect on the impacts of e-waste.
  • The theme for the year 2022 is ‘Recycle it all, no matter how small!’.
  • Of 8,775 European households in six countries, the average household contains 74 e-products such as phones, tablets, laptops, electric tools, hair dryers, toasters, and other appliances (excluding lamps).
  • The top five hoarded small electronic products were:
    • Small electronics and accessories (e.g., headphones, remotes),
    • small equipment (e.g., clocks, irons),
    • small IT equipment (e.g., hard drives, routers, keyboards, and mice),
    • mobile and smartphones,
    • Small food preparation appliances (e.g., toasters, grills).



Global Scenario:

  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum is an international association of 46 e-waste producer responsibility organizations.
  • The forum released the results of surveys conducted to reveal why so many households and businesses fail to bring in for repair or recycling.
  • The results were consolidated by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Sustainable Cycles Programme.
  • Mobile phones/ smartphones have valuable gold, copper, silver, palladium, and other recyclable components. 

India and E-Waste regulations:

  • Laws to manage e-waste have been in place in India since 2011, mandating that only authorized dismantlers and recyclers collect e-waste. E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016 was enacted in 2017.
  • India’s first e-waste clinic for segregating, processing, and disposal of waste from household and commercial units has been being set-up in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
  • According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generated more than 10 lakh tonnes of e-waste in 2019-20, an increase from 7 lakh tonnes in 2017-18. Against this, the e-waste dismantling capacity has not increased from 82 lakh tonnes since 2017-18.
  • In 2018, the Ministry of Environment told the tribunal that 95% of e-waste in India is recycled by the informal sector and scrap dealers unscientifically dispose of it by burning or dissolving it in acids.

Government Initiatives for E-waste management:

Initiatives such as 

  • Extended Producer Responsibility;
  • Design for Environment;
  • (3Rs) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle technology platform for linking the market and facilitating the circular economy aim to encourage consumers to correctly dispose of e-waste.

Agencies responsible

  • National Green Tribunal (NGT)
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
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