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.