Chaubey to Parliament: Government has taken many steps to formalize e-waste recycling sector in India

E-waste collectors in Delhi. (Picture Credit: The original uploader was Thousandways at German Wikipedia. (Original text: Matthias Feilhauer (Benutzer: thousandways)), Ewaste-delhi, CC BY-SA 2.0 DE)

The Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply on December 8, informed the Rajya Sabha of the various initiatives his government is taking to formalize the e-waste recycling sector in the country.

Here is the text of his reply:

The E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 provide for compulsory authorization of the dismantling and recycling units from the concerned State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs)/ Pollution Control Committees (PCCs). CPCB has issued guidelines/SOP for the processing of e-waste. The CPCB and SPCBs have been monitoring the units and necessary steps have been taken to mainstream and modernize the recycling industry with the help of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. 

The following steps have been taken by the government in the direction of finding solutions to problems related to e-Waste:

  1. The management of e-waste is being carried out under the framework of E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, and amendments there off. The Rules are effective from 1st October 2016. The rules provide for the followings:
  1. Ministry has notified the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022 on 2nd November 2022. These rules will replace E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, and will be effective from 1st April 2023. These rules will launch a new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime for e-waste recycling. The salient feature of new rules is as under:
  • Applicable to every manufacturer, producer, consumer, bulk consumer, collection center, dealer, e-retailer, refurbisher, dismantler, and recycler.
  • Under the EPR regime, producers have to obtain EPR Authorization from CPCB for implementing their EPR and details of their dismantlers/recyclers.
  • Notified EEE are twenty-one (21) and listed in Schedule – I of the above said Rules.
  • Under the EPR regime, producers of notified EEE have been given annual E-Waste collection targets based on the generation from the previously sold EEE or based on sales of EEE as the case may be.
  • Applicable to every manufacturer, producer, refurbisher, dismantler, and recycler.
  • All the manufacturers, producers, refurbished, and recyclers are required to register on the portal developed by CPCB.  
  • No entity shall carry out any business without registration and also not deal with any unregistered entity.  
  • The authorization has now been replaced by Registration through an online portal and only manufacturers, producers, refurbished, and recyclers require Registration.
  • Schedule I expanded and now 106 EEE has been included under the EPR regime.
  • Producers of notified EEE, have been given annual E-Waste Recycling targets based on the generation from the previously sold EEE or based on sales of EEE as the case may be. Target may be made stable for 2 years and starting from 60% for the year 2023–24 and 2024-25; 70% for the year 2025-26 and 2026-27 and 80% for the year 2027–28 and 2028–29 and onwards.
  • Management of solar PV modules /panels/ cells added in new rules.
  • The quantity recycled will be computed on the basis of end products, so as to avoid any false claim.  
  • Provision for generation and transaction of EPR Certificate has been introduced. 
  • Provisions for environmental compensation and verification & audit have been introduced.
  • Provision for the constitution of a Steering Committee to oversee the overall implementation of these rules.

Under the E-Waste Management Rules, provision for the reduction of hazardous substances in the manufacturing of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) has been provided. It mandates that every producer of EEE and its components shall ensure that their products do not contain lead, mercury, and other hazardous substances beyond the maximum prescribed concentration.  

The E-Waste (Management) Rules also provide for recognition and registration, skill development, monitoring, and ensuring the safety and health, of workers involved in dismantling and recycling e-waste.

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