E-waste is an important issue for India for several reasons. It accounts for four per cent of global e-waste and 2.5 per cent of global GDP (2014 figures) – so it has a higher share of e-waste than its share of gross domestic product (GDP). The US, on the other hand, accounts for a lower share of global e-waste than its share of GDP.
Manufacturing processes in India have to adopt better technology so as to generate less waste. In fact, in recent years, its e-waste has grown faster than earlier anticipated. The Greenpeace study found e-waste growing at 15 percent annually and projected it to go up to 800,000 tons by 2012. But it stood at 1.7 million tons in 2014, the fifth highest in the world, according to a UN study. Now 3.2 million tons of e-waste is generated annually in India.
At the end of the day, someone has to pay for the safe disposal of e-waste. The new EPR policy will not only enhance collection and recycling today, but will also enhance eco-design in future.
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