New opportunities for e-waste recyclers

What is the News?

The Environment Ministry has recently released the Draft Notification for Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Management for public feedback.

What is the key provision of the Draft Rules?

The rules lay out a system for companies to secure Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) certificates.

These certificates certify the quantity of e-waste collected and recycled in a particular year by a company. An organization may sell surplus quantities to another company to help it meet its obligations.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is the chief entity that will coordinate the trade of EPR certificates and monitor if companies are meeting their targets.

How will the CPCB verify that the e-waste has been collected and recycled?

The verification would be done via “software matching”.

A recycling company would be paying a certain amount of Goods and Services Tax(GST) annually based on the quantity of precious metal they had extracted and sold. This would correlate to the amount of e-waste processed. 

This could be further matched with the certificates bought by a producer company to meet targets.

What are the issues highlighted by the experts with these draft rules?

Verifying the actual quantity of e-waste recycled is next to impossible because of the unavailability of data, such as – how many electronic goods were sold in a particular year and how much e-waste is generated, and how much recycled—is available in the public domain.

For instance, CPCB said that in 2019-20, 1 million tons of e-waste was generated, 22% of which was collected, dismantled, or recycled.

On the other hand, Global e-Waste Monitor reports that nearly 3 million tons of electronic waste was generated in India, which is thrice the Government of India’s estimates.

Source: The post is based on the article “New opportunities for e-waste recyclerspublished in The Hindu on 4th June 2022.

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