Draft notification for electronic waste management: 60% e-waste recycling likely by 2023

What is the News?

The Environment Ministry released the draft notification for electronic waste management for public feedback. India has a formal set of rules for electronic waste management. These were first announced in 2016 and amended in 2018. The latest rules are expected to come into effect by August.

What are the key provisions of draft notification for electronic waste management?

Targets: 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 bring into effect a system of trading in certificates, akin to carbon credits, that will allow companies to temporarily bridge shortfalls.

The extended producer responsibility (EPR) certificates 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.

Companies will have to register on an online portal and specify their annual production and e-waste collection targets.

Monitoring authority: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is the chief entity that coordinates the trade of EPR certificates and monitors if companies are meeting their targets. A steering committee to be headed by the Chairman of the CPCB will oversee the overall implementation of these regulations.

Non-Compliance: 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.

Provisions to comply at later date: Companies that fall short of the annual target can meet a year’s target, even after three years. Those that meet their targets with a year’s delay will be refunded 85% of their fine, and 60% and 30% after the second and third year, respectively.

Role of State governments: a) The responsibility of earmarking industrial space for e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities and b) Establishing measures for protecting the health and safety of workers engaged in the dismantling and recycling facilities for e-waste.

Read more: Imports of plastic bottles for waste processing allowed
What is the significance of the new draft regulation?

The earlier rules stressed collection targets. Now the government is emphasising the EPR, recycling and trading. This follows the government’s objective to promote a circular economy.

About the generation of e-waste in India

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 and a thrust of the e-waste rules is to have more of this waste handled by the formal sector.

Source: The post is based on the article “60% e-waste recycling likely by 2023″ published in The Hindu on 25th May 2022.

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