E-Waste Management: The Dos and the Don’tsMarch 15, 2023
India is taking substantial and rapid steps in its endeavour for environment conservation. Among the various new initiatives that are gaining prominence is the E-Waste management policy.
Any scrapped electronic equipment is classified as E-Waste, whether a microwave or a copier. Dealing with such objects can be tricky. More often than not, they just end up in landfills. That’s why the Indian Government introduced the E-Waste Management Rules in 2016.
For Foreign companies entering the Indian market, it’s important to be familiar with the E-Waste management rules of the country. These rules apply to any business (manufacturers, retailers or wholesalers) generating electronic waste, except Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and companies dealing with radioactive materials.
Regulations You Need To Follow
- 2023 onwards, a company needs to allocate at least 70% of its E-Waste for recycling. The percentage has steadily climbed from at least 30% for 2019-20 to the current value.
- A symbol indicating the waste class must be placed (whether it can be discarded with regular waste or not). The sign can be placed in the product or prominently in the user manual.
- A company should ensure that mercury-related materials are immobilised to a safer form before recycling or dismantling.
- A company can store e-waste for a maximum of 180 days. An extension of up to 365 can also be allowed by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) if the E-Waste needs time to be processed before recycling.
These rules help you safely discard the E-Waste and minimise its impact on the environment. On the contrary, throwing away the scraps can cause an increase in greenhouse emissions and more and more landfills covering the seas.
Currently, India is one of the fastest-growing waste producers in the world, and almost 95% of the E-Waste recycling is done by the informal sector (self-employed labourers). Combined with the fact that we are the second most populous country, our responsibility towards the environment is crucial. The ever increasing percentage of E-Waste must be recycled by the companies and establishment of strict rules regarding scrap management are positive signs that India is on the right path and everyone operating a company in country should make a contribution towards the cause.