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E-waste Authorization
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E - Waste

E-waste is a critical problem in the present times. And why not? From smart gadgets to smart homes, technology is integrated into every aspect of our lives. Think about it – even the simplest products have sensors and semiconductors fitted in them. Have you heard about wearable monitors or water vapour extractors? Technology is at the core of every device and every little thing we use. Evolution in technology is only evident. However, how often do we think about the products that become outdated or unusable with time? We definitely don’t, and this explains why e-waste crossed the 50 million metric tonne benchmark back in 2020. The counts have only doubled over the years.

A surprising fact:

According to the stats, in 2023, the count of untreated e-waste exceeds 347 million metric tonnes on the face of the earth.

Have you wondered if there’s a smart and pragmatic way to tackle the growing e-waste crisis? Thinking about recycling? Despite the increasing awareness about recycling, only 17.4% of the total electronic trash is formally and responsibly treated. The remaining 82.6% keeps stacking in the landfills. Since e-waste recycling in India or across the globe fails to work in its expansive capacity, it only made environmentalists brood if there was a better alternative. And this led to the inception of circular economy.

What are the prevailing challenges of e-waste recycling?

Do you know how formal recycling of scrapped electronics works? The process mostly involves disassembling electronic items, segregating the products by material, cleaning the parts, and finally, treating them. Moreover, the disassembled particles are shredded, incinerated, or treated using chemicals. Typically, only authorised companies are liable to recycle and refurbish discarded electronics. The companies comprise the right infrastructure and pollution-minimising technologies to process the waste. In short, not only is e-waste recycling in India a long and tedious process but an expensive practice too.

To avoid the expenses, companies prefer exporting their trashed electronics to developing countries where recycling is a lot cheaper and mostly tackled by the untrained and informal sectors. Why just developing countries? If you have ever visited places like Seelampur in Delhi, spotting zillions of recyclers working under the most unhygienic and dangerous conditions is quite evident. Besides, the mountains of waste piling up in the dump yards don’t go unnoticed. From computers and monitors to fax machines, spent battery cells, mobile phones, television, and more, the dumping zones have it all.

In a nutshell, the challenges of e-waste recycling in India are far too many. This includes:

1.    Poor infrastructure

2.    Expensive recycling measures

3.    Lack of knowledge

4.    No stringent laws support the responsible recycling of discarded electronic products.

 What crops up as the next immediate step to tackle e-waste?

If not recycling, what steps up as the next strategic measure to cope with the prevailing e-waste management challenges? It is circular economy.

Circular economy is a well-thought model of production and consumption that aims to nip in the generation of waste. Unlike recycling, which follows up the linear economy practises of take-make-waste, circular economy intends to put an end to the creation of waste. In fact, the method recaptures waste as a valuable raw material and keeps it in a closed economic loop for as long as possible. Maximum utilisation of resources ensures that waste generation is on a declining scale. What’s more, the strategic approach increases the value of materials in the loop and boosts the economy.

Furthermore, circularity is a thoughtfully mapped approach that includes setting up a proper e-waste collection centre, dismantling and treating waste in controlled and professionally-administered centres, and processing the waste for further repurposing. This certainly addresses e-waste concerns.

What is EPR E-Waste?

Have you heard of the term EPR e-waste? It stands for ‘Extended Producer Responsibility.’ Before you begin to think about what EPR aims to do and how it contributes to e-waste management, here’s something you must understand. In addition to the mounting volumes of electronic waste we as consumers generate, it is equally critical for producers and manufacturers to take the lead, gather, and refurbish products that reach their end of the life cycle.

Thus, EPR e-waste authorization is a strategic approach that accumulates the environmental costs associated with a product and confers entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and producers with a lawful obligation to undertake the responsibility of products throughout their lifecycle. This is an industry-funded approach that obligates producers to rethink the design and packaging of products to last longer in the consumption cycles and is easy to recycle in time. Every producer enjoys the right to manage the lifecycle of products on their own or partner with a PRO (Producer Responsibility Organisation) like Karo Sambhav to outsource the management of products. In short, EPR certainly plays out as a pragmatic and effective initiative to tackle the global e-waste problem.

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.

alliances

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