India which has emerged as the second largest mobile market with 1.03 billion subscribers, is also the fifth largest producer of e-waste in the world, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh metric tonnes of electronic waste each year, with telecom equipment alone accounting for 12 per cent of the e-waste.
The rising levels of e-waste generation in India have been a matter of concern in recent years. With more than 100 crore mobile phones in circulation, nearly 25 per cent end up in e-waste annually.
E-waste management rules, 2016
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified e-waste management rules, 2016, in which producers are for the first time covered under extended producers’ responsibility (EPR).
The rules prescribe a waste collection target of 30 per cent waste generated under EPR for the first two years, progressively going up to 70 per cent in the seventh year of the rule.
The rules prescribe stringent financial penalties for non-compliance.
Electronic waste collection targets should be implemented in a phased manner with lower and practically achievable target limits.
Detailed implementation procedures for collection of electronic waste from the market need to be followed.