Karo Sambhav collaborates with leading organisations to jointly develop industry frameworks, standards, governance mechanisms, systems and processes that advance the transition to circular economy. know more about our alliances.
Are you aware of the growing importance of waste management? An organised and strategic endeavour to dispose of, reduce, reuse, and prevent the generation of waste describes the working and purpose of waste management in a nutshell. Appropriate disposal of waste is extremely important to keep up with global cleanliness and sustainability. Little do you know that we generate over 400 million tonnes of waste every year, and the number is only increasing. Do you know the consequences of growing waste? Right from climate change to the contamination of soil, air, and water, waste is a major concern for the rising global crises.
Moreover, the economic impacts of waste are not underrated as well. The growing waste piles also imply an increasing ratio of wasted natural resources. Do you know how burdening that is? Also, the growing size of landfills lowers the value of land by leaps and bounds. In short, the effects of waste go beyond the adversities of the environment. The toxic compounds from waste travel up the food chain affecting human health and the quality of life on earth. Nevertheless, it is extremely disastrous for aquatic life too.
Now that you know about the odds of growing waste, do you know what ranks as the highest in the hierarchy of waste? It is e-waste, an informal term for electronic waste. According to statistics, 50 million tonnes of e-waste are generated every year. Well, that’s just the disclosed number. Can you guess how much waste India creates? The number is as big as 2 million tonnes of electronic waste. Surprising, right? But here’s the bummer – only 22.7% of the waste is effectively collected, dismantled, treated, recycled, and disposed of. Wondering what happens with the remaining? Well, it remains, clogging up the dump yards and sullying the earth.
· The stats clearly prove that introducing strategic e-waste management is critical. Here’s why:
· Electronic waste comprises toxic chemicals, heavy metals, glass, plastic, and harmful other substances like cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel, and more
· Leaving the dumped waste untreated is hazardous to the environment and human health.
· The fast-growing volumes of electronic scrap epitomise an increasing waste of finite natural resources.
Untreated electronic waste poses a significant threat to human health. The toxic chemicals and gases affect the lungs, liver, respiratory system, and neurological well-being of human beings. It also aggravates diseases such as cancer.
Hence, it is a no-brainer that proper e-waste disposal and management are crucial.
Are you of the idea that maximising e-waste recycling in India can nip in the bud and lower the growing piles of electronic scrap? As promising as it sounds, recycling does very little to lower the heaps of spent and trashed electronics dumped in landfills. Blame the growing commercialism or irresponsible consumer behaviour; very few truly think before tossing out spent electronic gadgets or electronic appliances nearing their end of life. Think about the drawers stacked with unused and expired electronic products. How often do you reach out to an authorised collection centre to drop off the e-waste? Instead, commoners mindlessly dump it in the bins or hand out the unused products to local scrap dealers.
Do you know how a scrap dealer processes or treats your discarded electronics? Well, they mostly dismantle and extract the valuable metals in the electronic items and trash off the rest in dump yards. What’s worse? The process of dismantling the products is executed in poor setups and horrible working conditions. Need a real insight? Try walking into the largest e-waste dump zone in the country in Seelampur, New Delhi. Why just Delhi? The Deonar dumping ground in Maharashtra is just as infamous for the pathetic environmental situation around it.
The real-time scenario and disastrous environmental impacts make it all the more necessary to implement strategic and pragmatic waste management measures, namely, circular economy. Let’s understand how circular economy steps up as a proficient and result-driven alternative to old-school recycling.
As mentioned above, e-waste recycling in India fails to stand out as a proven measure to downsize the growing piles of waste. Frankly, recycling addresses a linear model of production and consumption – take, make, waste. Simply put, it is an end-of-the-funnel approach that treats products once they have been disposed of. Contrastingly, circular economy attempts to put an end to the occurrence of recyclables in the first place. It is a strategic approach that revamps the existing model of production and consumption and upgrades the value of products in the cycle.
Are you curious to know how circular economy truly works? The strategic policy approach encourages entrepreneurs, manufacturers, recyclers, and individuals to redesign products using raw materials that are easy to recycle, durable, and last longer in a loop. This ensures that the generation of waste is minimal and on a declining scale. In addition to prioritising manufacturing resources that last several lifecycles, circular economy also encourages the recycling and refurbishing of products to lower the scarcity of finite natural resources.
Circular economy certainly promises a world of wonders in the field of e-waste management. However, challenges such as lack of awareness and infrastructure make the adoption of circular economy a little less popular than anticipated. Hence, environmentalists, in collaboration with the governments, introduce EPR compliance for e-waste.
EPR, or Extended Producer Responsibility, is an environmental protection strategy designed to reduce the environmental impacts of product waste, especially electronics. Wondering how? As per the EPR norms in India, manufacturers and importers of electronic products are solely accountable for the treatment and disposal of consumer goods post the expiry of their lifespan. Further, with a view to curtailing the growing quantities of e-waste, it is compulsory for entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and importers to register for EPR authorization.
Are you curious to know about mandatory EPR compliances? Let’s read:
Under EPR e-waste compliance, producers and importers are obligated to collect, treat, and recycle a certain percentage of the produced electronic goods in an environmentally-friendly manner.
· Manufacturers must ensure that all electronic products are RoHS-compliant prior to their launch date. Do you know what RoHSis all about? Well, it stands for Reduction of Hazardous Substances.
· Manufacturers must only associate with authorised recyclers and PROs (Producer Responsibility Organisations) to tackle and manage e-waste.
· Producers must label electronic items accurately and provide information related to the handling of end-of-life products.
· EPR compliance for e-waste makes it obligatory for manufacturers, business owners, and importers to stock and dispose of products that reach their end of lifecycle in authorised collection centres.
Little are you aware that EPR policies are defined and authorised by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)? Accordingly, all companies must submit quarterly reports providing detailed information for the management and disposal of electronics after obsolescence to stay compliant.
It is no surprise that EPR compliance for e-waste illustrates a cradle-to-cradle approach that involves the collection and channelisation of end-of-life electronic products. The process is tedious and complex. Hence, collaborating with authorised PROs like Karo Sambhav ensures that a business entity or waste processing unit complies with the mandatory EPR authorization rules.
Karo Sambhav is one of India’s leading Producer Responsibility Organisations. The company is authorised to collect, channelise, and recycle e-waste in an environmentally sound way. Karo Sambhav is also on a mission to spread EPR awareness and keep businesses from violating e-waste management rules proposed by the CPCB.