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Let's Talk e-Waste

E-waste: electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes.

India's e-Waste Problem

  • India’s e-waste expected to rise to 5.2MT by 2020 and continue to increase as the use of electronic equipment shoots up. Maharashtra | Delhi | Chennai | Kolkata highest contributing States.

  • While 70% of e-waste in India is produced by Public & Private Sector, 15% contribution is from household and rest is by the Manufactures.

  • As 90% of India’s e-waste is informally recycled or left in landfills, It causes number of environmental and health problems.


  • E-waste (Management) Rules 2016 replaced the existing E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011. The concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) mandated producers of electrical and electronic equipment to register and specified targets to collect back e-waste generated and to ensure that it is channelized to authorized recyclers.

  • Imports of e-waste for disposal are banned in India.

Policy Failure

  • No mechanisms to verify if the Rules are followed in the EPR process.

  • Fail in effective monitoring

  • Majority of producers outsource their e-waste to the informal sector.

Way Forward

  • The planet needs is a future where recyclers buy back electronics, manufacturers use second-generation materials and consumers get rid of e-waste responsibly.

  • By 2020, the country’s electronic waste management sector is set to create 450,000 direct jobs across collection, aggregation, dismantling and recycling.

  • E-waste is imported as second hand products and India lacks resources & Infrastructure to distinguish between second-hand product & e-waste (IFC 2019)

  • Economic Value of e-waste: the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo—all the medals will be made from precious metals collected from recycled e-waste. More than five million used phones were collected from among 47,488 tonnes of discarded electronic devices, after a nationwide scheme was launched across Japan by the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee in April 2017.

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