India

E-waste becoming a threat

Sushil Kumar Singh

Management of e-waste is a complex process and also a big challenge. The e-waste management policy in India is available since 2011. Its scope was also expanded in the years 2016 and 2018. But the ground reality is that the implementation situation has been disappointing.

Technology is increasingly interfering in every aspect of our lives. Not only this, the world is also touching the sky due to technology. The world, which has reached the height of civilization and technology, is now troubled by e-waste. As the demand for electronic products is increasing all over the world, electronic waste is also increasing rapidly.

The electrical and electronic items that we throw in our homes and industries after use, the same junk comes in the name of e-waste. The latest United Nations report on the state of global e-waste shows that in 2019, 50.73 million metric tons of electronic waste was generated. It is also surprising that by 2030 its quantity is estimated to increase to about 75 million metric tons.

If the e-waste is divided on the basis of continents in the whole world, then 20 million tonnes in Asia, 13 million tonnes in America, 12 million tonnes in Europe and nine million tonnes in Africa. Comes out every year. Its quantity in Australia is seven lakh tonnes. It is also estimated that within a decade and a half, its quantity in the world will double. In a developing country like India, where electricity and electronic goods have not yet fully reached a large part of the population, yet more than one million tons of waste is being generated every year. This has been disclosed in the December-2020 report of the Central Pollution Control Board.

It is worth noting that the management of e-waste is a complex process and also a big challenge. The e-waste management policy in India is available since 2011. Its scope was also expanded in the years 2016 and 2018. But the ground reality is that the implementation situation has been disappointing. Interestingly, only five per cent of the total e-waste generated in the country is processed through recycling centres. Obviously, the remaining ninety-five percent of the e-waste is disposed of in the informal sector.

There is a need for an in-depth analysis of how to streamline e-waste management. The point is that it would be effective to take the help of non-governmental organizations in this work. If seen, the government had implemented the General Junk Management Rules in the year 2008. These rules also contained the matter of acting in a responsible manner regarding the management of e-waste. However, then the problem was not that big.

Significantly, e-waste is generated when the user of a product decides that the item is no longer of any use to him. At present, there are about one hundred and twenty crore mobile phones in India in a population of one hundred and thirty six crores. When they are no longer usable, they obviously end up in a form of e-waste. Significantly, by 2025, the number of Internet users in India will be ninety million. At present this number is around sixty five crores.

The volume of e-waste in India was seventeen lakh tonnes in 2014, which increased to nineteen lakh tonnes in the next year 2015. The context also implied that under the national e-waste law, electronic items should be handled through formal collection, as the junk so collected could be taken to a specialized processing center, where it would be recycled. It is also possible to take into account the environment and health of the time.

However, India’s position in this matter is bad. In the year 2018, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had told the tribunal that ninety-five percent of the e-waste in India is recycled by the informal sector. Not only this, most of the kawadis dispose of it by burning it or using acid.

It is also an interesting fact that e-governance gets its strength due to electronic products, which is useful for strengthening good governance. But when these electronic items are thrown in the dustbin after the utility is over, then it becomes a problem in the form of e-waste. The data shows that the Indian electronic sector made tremendous progress in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

From US$ 11.5 billion in 2004-2005, the sector has grown from US$ 32 billion in 2009-2010. It is worth noting that in these days, with the increase in domestic production and import of electronic goods, e-waste also achieved prosperity. Due to this the need for regulatory control on this sector was felt and the E-waste Management Policy 2011 was brought in India.

In developed countries, it has been seen that the cost of recycling e-waste is high. In these countries, companies have to pay for the management and disposal of broken and defective equipment. By the way, there has been a continuous effort to formalize these areas through policy changes. But difficulties still persist regarding this effort at the ground level.

In fact, in the problem related to e-waste disposal, some important points need to be considered deeply. The first issue in this case is that of price. Also, the cost of waste disposal centers operating in the unorganized sector is less as compared to recycling in formal centres. Obviously tackling this junk is not possible without strengthening the e-waste recycling chain. Doing so may require strict monitoring, compliance and global cooperation in addition to the best use of its potential.

A report by the Central Pollution Control Board states that only three to ten percent of the millions of tonnes of e-waste in the country is collected. There can also be some ethical way of disposing of it, such as gifting old computers, mobiles or other electronic items to the needy instead of throwing them away or returning them to the companies and if nothing is possible then find the right way of disposal. The dilemma is that the concept of green development has not yet gained momentum in India, but e-waste is spreading. There are challenges in tackling climate change.

The world is grappling with the continuous increase in global temperature. All the above issues have not yet been able to draw the line of good governance that e-waste is pushing the environment and health towards a new challenge. Perspectives and perspectives show that it is everyone’s responsibility to maintain the earth as a heritage. Making life easier with the help of technology is a reference to a hundred thousand. But there is also the question of lakhs of rupees whether the e-waste being generated every day at a fast pace is also effective in taking the same easy life towards a new problem.

The post Danger Banat E-Waste appeared first on Jansatta.

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Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is an Indian based entrepreneur who is a tech, travel and coding enthusiast with a post graduation degree on Master's of Computer Applications. He is a founder of Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Hitchhike TV, Branding Panther and many more.

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