AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF E-WASTE
Author- Elisha Lakra, Assistant Professor, Faculty
of Law, Kalinga University, Nawa Raipur.
Email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new period of development was inaugurated with the
Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. Technology continued to advance,
which aided in the advancement of human civilization. However, this advancement
also had a detrimental impact that is one of the greatest threats to humanity.
This problem, which affects both developed and developing nations, has become
one of the most hotly contested issues among environmentalists. As a result of
the rapid advancement of technology, the volume of electronic trash is
increasing every day. To ponder: Have you ever wondered what we do with old
gadgets when we buy a new one? When we look around in our surroundings we will
be able to find a lot of electronic gadgets lying.
means “waste electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part or rejects
from their manufacturing and repair process, which are intended to be
It also means “electrical and electronic equipment, including solar
photo-voltaic modules or panels or cells, whole or in part discarded as waste,
as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment, and repair processes”. E-waste has been construed in a variety of ways; there
is no agreed-upon definition.
Wastes come in a wide range of types, including organic-metallic,
bio-medical, radioactive, and municipal as well as household and organic
wastes. The rapid change that is taking place in technology has led to an
increase in the production of e-waste as every now and then electronic devices
are changing with the trend and are rejected and discarded in large numbers.
Rather we can say the upgradation of technology is increasing the rate of
accumulation of e-waste more and more.
As there are two sides of the same
coin, some are in favor of this as E-waste provides cheap raw materials. For
this, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam commented that “With metal prices rising,
recycling will help in sustaining our economy as it is much cheaper than
extracting metals from its ore”.
During the 1990s IT Industry in India experienced
massive growth which intensified the problem of E-waste. It has been marked
that about 65 cities and 10 states in India generate more than 60% and 70% of
the waste respectively. Maharashtra is at the top followed by Tamil Nadu,
Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujrat, Madhya
Pradesh, and Punjab. When we talk about cities, Mumbai ranks first, Delhi in
the second followed by Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune,
Surat, and Nagpur. The toxic elements if released can cause major health issues,
for example, neurological and endocrinal disorders or even cancer for a long
term even inter-generational health problems.
In India, Schedule 3 of “The Hazardous Wastes
(Management and Handling) Rules, 2003” addresses e-waste. In India, the
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) governs waste
management and works together with the State Pollution Control Board which is
set up in various states.
India became the fifth-largest producer of e-waste in the world in 2016
with a production of two million tonnes. The largest producer, Mumbai, was
followed by Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata; just 5% of the waste was
recycled in the formal sector; 95% was recycled in the informal sector. The improper treatment of e-waste is largely
due to the scrap merchants’ burning, leaching, and acid-dissolving trash
IT sector report by Radha Gopalan
said, “The rate of obsolescence of computers in India is 2% per week, i.e., in
50 weeks-time the value of the computer is effectively zero.” On the other hand,
the U.S. has the fastest-growing municipal waste stream.
Even if regulations have been put
into place, there is still more that can be done to improve how e-waste is
disposed of. India has to repair the very low percentage of e-waste that is
being sent to secure recycling facilities since it poses a major threat to the
environment. Although burning waste may seem like an easy way to dispose of
trash, the release of harmful compounds has disastrous effects. Generally,
landfills of e-waste take place but it is not a sustainable practice and in the
present day sustainable practice is the need of the hour. One more factor is
that their literacy rate for this issue is also very less.
There is a great impact of e-waste
on the environment. E-Wastes contain hazardous substances like Cadmium in
computer batteries, Lead and Cadmium in circuit boards, Mercury in switches and
flat-screen monitors, and PVCs are also one of those toxic substances. The
Cobalt radiation catastrophe in Delhi, which resulted in one death and six
hospital admissions, has brought to light the grave problems caused by the
inappropriate disposal of e-waste. Women and kids are particularly vulnerable
There has been an import of e-waste
and India is one of the biggest dumping grounds of electronic wastes about
which there have been reports that countries like Asia, Africa, and Latin
America on the garb of “used goods” pass the hazardous wastes,
and hence to handle this government is taking actions through legislation.
In India, e-waste is just amassing and there are few
solutions for the waste it produces. Due to the fact that they damage both the environment and civilization,
people must properly dispose of this rubbish. Radioactive
wastes require special handling because they remain active for a very long time.
Therefore, waste management
is a concern in the majority of rising countries.
have been several legislations that have been handling e-wastes and have
attempted to cut down the E-waste from 1984 to the recent 2022. The Environment
Protection Act, 1984, which was passed in 1986, attempts to
create an adequate protection system. The E-Waste (Management and Handling)
Rules, 2022 provide that instead of private Producer
Responsibility Organizations (PROs) the authorized recyclers collect a certain
amount of trash, recycle it, and produce
Besides the stringent
laws, rules, and regulations the protection of the environment in an
eco-friendly manner is very important, and therefore, organizations should work
accordingly and adopt ways that are sustainable. The Government should also
enact regulatory bodies to ensure proper checks on the illegal handling of
waste and ensure proper implementation by strict guidelines and inspection.
Open burning, illicit dumping of e-waste, and restricting the areas of recycling
must be curtailed to control the environment as well as health consequences. If
e-waste is not handled properly it will end up killing a lot of people and
serious health issues.
There is an urgent need
to balance economic growth and the environment. The concept of Sustainable
Development is a way that is to be focused on and should be fulfilled
simultaneously without hampering each other. It is very necessary to sensitize
people toward solving the issues of e-waste. It is very essential to educate at
the grassroots level and people involved in this business like the stakeholders
to handle the e-waste scientifically. That generation of e-waste cannot be
stopped as the technology is growing day by day but it can be handled in a proper
way. The policies involving the disposal of e-wastes should be of a cooperative
nature rather than competitive nature.
The manufacture of one
computer and monitor consumes 530 lbs. of fossil fuel, 48 lbs. of chemicals,
and 1.5 tons of water.
Keeping this in mind we should take steps carefully and try to follow some
thing is that we can ourselves from being a victim of marketing giants by not
continually upgrading the devices hence the consumption of e-waste can be
electronics can help to extend the life of the product.
The good working
condition gadgets can be sold or can be donated.
offer products in exchange for the old products we can go for that option.
e-waste is also a good option as it creates jobs for recyclers and also creates
new markets for products that are salvaged. It is more of a win-win situation
as we can get the newest technology from the old and acting responsibly can
help to keep the environment clear for the generations ahead.
E-Waste (Management and Handling)
Rules, 2011 (India) S.O. 1035(E) r3(1)(k).
(Management and Handling) Rules, 2022, S.O. 360 (E) r 3(1).
 ‘E-waste causes concern’, The Hindu, 23 January, 2010.
 Radha Gopalan, “A Study on the
Indian IT Sector”, (2002) <www.nautilus.org> accessed 19 April 2023.
Electronics Takeback Coalition,
July 24, 2013, <http: //www.electronicstakeback.com/wpcontent/uploads/Facts_and_Figures>
accessed 5 July 2023.
 Ayushi Sinha and Satya Vrat
Yadav, ‘E-Waste in India : Who Gets the Trash?’ (2017) 133(7) CNLU <http://www.scconline.com/DocumentLink/DFYN3KB9>
accessed 6 July 2023.
 Health the planet, ‘Electronic
accessed 6 July 2023.
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