International E-Waste Day

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    • Every year 14th October is celebrated as  International E-Waste Day.

    International E-Waste Day (IEWD) 

    • The day was developed in 2018 by the WEEE Forum, a Brussels-based non-profit  association of e-waste collection schemes.
      • WEEE stands for waste electronic and electrical equipment. 
    • Theme:  
      • “Consumers are the key to the Circular Economy” 
    • Aim: 
      • To promote the correct disposal of e-waste throughout the world by increasing re-use, recovery and recycling rates. 
    • 2021 is the 4th edition of the International E-Waste Day. 
    • This year’s International E-Waste Day will focus on the crucial part each of us has in making circularity a reality for e-products.

    Some shocking Statistics

    The Brussels-based non-profit gave some shocking statistics about the rising tide of e-waste.

    • Year 2021 has generated a total of about 57.4 million tonnes (MT) of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE). 
      • This will be greater than the weight of the Great Wall of China, Earth’s heaviest artificial object.
    • In 2019, Global E-waste Monitor reported 53.6 MT of WEEE .
      • It shows  a 21 percent jump in the five years since 2014. 
    • E-waste is predicted to reach 74 MT by 2030.
    • E-waste generation was increasing annually by 2 MT.
    • An estimated 40 percent of heavy metals in US landfills come from discarded electronics.

    Reasons behind High E-Waste Generation and Less Recycling

    • Higher consumption rate of electronics:
      • Some 54-113 million mobile phones, weighing 10-20 tonnes, are lying in drawers and other storage spaces.
    • Shorter product life cycles:
      • It was found that the previous phones got slow as soon as new upgrades and new models were launched in the market.
    • Limited repair options:
      • Many manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, don’t allow repair and reuse facilities.
      • The Environmental Protection Agency of the USA estimates that more than 151 million phones a year- approximately 416,000 a day- are trashed and end up incinerated or landfilled.
    • Hesitancy and Unawareness among Consumers:
      • A key factor in used electronic devices not being given for recycling was because consumers themselves did not do so.

    Implications of not recycling or reusing

    • Environmental Implications:
      • As long as citizens don’t return their used, broken gear, sell it, or donate it, mining of all-new materials will continue .
      • It will cause great environmental damage. 
    • Loss of precious resources:
      • The recovery of gold and other material from waste saves a lot of carbon dioxide emissions when compared with virgin metal mining.
    • Economic Implications:
      • A tonne of discarded mobile phones is richer in gold than a tonne of gold ore. 
      • High-value, recoverable materials conservatively valued at $57 billion , a sum greater than the Gross Domestic Product of most countries ,
        • Were mostly dumped or burned in 2019 rather than being collected for treatment and reuse.

    Way Ahead

    • Awareness Drive:
      • Successfully raising collection rates would require participation of  every actor, including consumers, producers.
      • Get more dead or unused plug-in or battery-operated products to facilities where they can be either repaired or recycled.
    • Government Intervention:
      • Incentivising the consumers will help in waste collection.
      • A provision of penalty for violation of rules to be introduced.
    • Circular Economy:
      • The recycling will enable the recovery of a king’s fortune in valuable materials and reduce the need for new resources.
    • Right to Repair:
      • The EU is leading in such a paradigm under which the consumers are being empowered to reuse their electronic products.

    E-waste (Management) Amendment Rules, 2016

    • Collection Targets:
      • The e-waste collection targets under EPR have been revised and will be applicable from 1 October 2017.
      • The phase-wise collection targets for e-waste in weight shall be 
        • 10% of the quantity of waste generation as indicated in the EPR Plan during 2017-18, 
        • with a 10% increase every year until 2023.
      • After 2023 onwards, the target has been 70% of the quantity of waste generated as indicated in the EPR Plan.
    • New Inclusions in E-waste:
      • Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamp brought under the purview of rules.
    • Extended Product Responsibility:
      • Collection mechanism based approach has been adopted to include collection centre, collection point, take back system etc for collection of e – waste by Producers under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
      • Provision for Pan India EPR Authorization by CPCB has been introduced replacing the state wise EPR authorization.
      • Separate e-waste collection targets have been drafted for new producers, i.e. 
        • those producers whose number of years of sales operation is less than the average lives of their products. 
      • The average lives of the products will be as per the guidelines issued by CPCB from time to time.
      • Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) shall apply to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for registration to undertake activities prescribed in the Rules.
    • Collection and Refurbishing Mechanism has been set up:
      • The dealer, if collecting on behalf of the producer, needs to collect the e – waste by providing the consumer a box and channelize it to the Producer.
      • Dealer or retailer or e – retailer shall refund the amount as per take back system or Deposit Refund Scheme of the producer to the depositor of e – waste.
      • Refurbishers need to collect e – waste generated during the process of refurbishing and 
        • They should channelise the waste to authorised dismantler or recycler through its collection centre and seek 1 time authorization from SPCB.
    • Cost for sampling Hazardous Substances:
      • Under the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) provisions, cost for sampling and testing will be borne by the govt for conducting the RoHS test.
      • If the product does not comply with RoHS provisions, then the cost of the test will be borne by the Producers.

     

    For more details related to e-waste generation & Policy Paper on Circular Economy to Deal with E-Waste of Meity. Kindly go through this link.

    Source: DTE