E- WASTE (a growing challenge)
INTRODUCTION :- e-waste or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is the term used to describe old, end-of-life or discarded appliances using electricity. It includes computers, consumer electronics, fridges etc which have been disposed of by their original users. Electronic Coods :- The electronic goods are broadly classified under three major heads I) 'White goods' comprising of household appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machine, air conditioners etc. ii) 'Brown goods' include television, cameras, camcorders etc; iii) 'Gray goods' like computers, scanners, printers, mobile phones etc Worryina factors :- this waste has become the most rapidly growing segment of the formal municipal waste stream in the world.
:- India is the fifth largest producer of e-waste discarding roughly 18.5 lakh tonnes of e-waste each year Improper dismantling and processing of e-waste render it perilous to human health and our ecosystem. When such e-waste ends up at landfills, they leach chemicals into the soil, contaminating soil and groundwater. :-About 95% of the e-waste in India is handled by the informal sector in a hazardous and environmentallu :- The United Nations University (UNU) has calculated that about 42 million tons of e-waste was generated globally in 2014. And between 2014 and 2017, we will have a 36% rise in e-waste globally :-The Greenpeace study found e-waste growing at 15% annually and projected it to go up to 800,000 tonnes by 2012.
Impact on Health: :- Combustion from burning e-waste creates fine particulate matter, which is linked to pulmonary and cardiovascular disease :- As per a WHO study, children are especially vulnerable to the health risks that may result from e-waste exposure and, therefore, need specific protection. :- In India, "about 4-5 lakh children in the age group of 10-15 are observed to be engaged in various ewaste activities, without adequate protection and safeguards in various yards and recycling workshops and this leads to adverse effect on their health :- a computer has very toxic chemicals like mercury, beryllium, cadmium, PVC and Phosphorous compounds. Central nervous system, Reproductive system and Urinary system are badly affected by the lead absorption in human body. Mercury also affects the CNS, Reproductive system and Urinary system of humans
CHALLENGES :-About 95% of the e-waste in India is handled by the informal sector in a hazardous and environmentall unsafe manner. :- They typically extract metals by dipping motherboards in acid vats then burning them. They extract gold by a process that involves cyanide in a home-made furnace. These crude processes result in intense pollution. :-Estimates are that only about 15% of all e-waste globally is recycled. This probably means that only 15% is recycled by formal actors. :- The producers/manufacturers do not have adequate information on their website regarding e waste management.(e- illetracy). Customer care representatives do not know about their companies responsibility to take back what theu produce :- India being a vast country, setting up collection mechanism is a big challenge. :- Improper enforcement of the existing laws is another hurdle. :- Though India's ministry of environment and forest has made import of e-waste illegal, a fair amount of e-waste is still illegally imported into India.
E-Waste Management Rules 2016: -replaced E-Waste Management Rules 2011. Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamps ve been brought under the purview of rules which were left out by the previous e-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011. :- The new rules have brought producers of electronic goods under "extended producer responsibility", making them liable for collection and exchange of e-waste with targets. :-It had prescribed a waste collection target of 30% of the e-waste generated under EPR (extended producer responsibility) for the first two years (till 2016) and progressively reaching 70% by 2022-23. These rules include producers, dealers and Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) as stake holders. Bulk consumers have to file annual returns (another welcome move) :- Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has been implementing the e-waste rules for authorized companies.
Way forward: :- An awareness campaiqn is much needed approach on e-waste that will make it easier to implement the rules.( e- literate) so that people will be able to recognized these e- waste and their harmful effects. : It is necessary that the informal e-waste collection system be integrated with the formal channels for proper regulation and monitoring as these e-waste contain valuable rare earth metals too. :- Manufacturing processes in India have to adopt better technology so as to generate less waste. - Along with digitalisation plans, our nation needs a matching ewaste plan to contain the e-mess, an advance type of planning rather than a post-facto approach. :- Government should bring a separate legislation on e-waste instead of handling it under the Environment Protection Act should adopt Norway Model.
Norway Model: :- Norway has e-waste take back system in place for more than a decade now. The producers/importers of e-waste in Norway are obliged to be members of a take-back company and have to pay a fee for their membership to the take-back companies. :- This is how it provides the fundina for collection and treatment of the waste :- Take-back companies need to ensure that theu will collect all e-waste from their market share which is determined by how much of electronics is put into the market by their members - there is an urgent need to plan a preventive strategy in relation to health hazards of e-waste handling among these workers in India. Required information should be provided to these workers regarding safe handling of e-waste and personal protection.
Biotechnology from Bangalore university, currently preparing for civil services...loves singing, writing poems,thoughts and lyrics.....