Stringent e-Waste management rules in place to rein in producers

e-Waste managementA new and more stringent e-Waste Management Rules, 2016 has been introduced by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to bring the producers under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and it instructs them to collect e-waste for recycling.

The main target are the Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamps, which have been provisioned for penalty if the e-waste is not handled properly. Every year about 17 lakh tonnes of e-waste is generated across the country which increases at a rate of 5 percent every year.

As per the new rules, the manufacturer of any electrical and electronic product will be responsible for collecting the e-waste generated during the process and channelizing it for recycling or disposal and seeking authorization from State Pollution Control Boards.

“State governments are also instructed to ensure safety, health and skill development of the workers involved in the recycling process,” said Prakash Javadekar, environment minister. Anyone who is found violating the rules or causing any kind of damage to the environment or any third party will be financially penalized, he added.

The government has made Urban Local Bodies (Municipal Committee / Council / Corporation) responsible to collect the orphan products and hand over them to the authorized dismantler or recycler.

Under ‘Deposit Refund Scheme’, producers and sellers of electronic gadgets are allowed to charge a refundable deposit from the customer at the time of selling, which can be returned when the customer returns the gadget back.  This will help in e-waste management by increasing awareness to return/exchange gadgets.

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