Corporate e-waste

The current system of production and consumption of electronic goods has been identified by the UN as unsustainable. The problem of “e-waste” has compounded in recent years. According to a report by UN agencies, World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the world produces nearly 50 million tonnes of e-waste, of which only 20% is formally recycled. With current practices it is estimated that the amount of waste will more than double by 2050, to 120 million tonnes annually.

India, which has emerged as the world’s second largest mobile market, is also the fifth largest producer of e-waste, annually discarding 18.5 lakh tonnes of electronic waste. Traditional forms of managing e-waste include unsustainable storage, incineration, dumping and illegal trading at great social and environmental costs. Additionally, the material value of e-waste is estimated at $62.5 billion, three times more than the annual output of the world’s silver mines and more than the GDP of most countries. There is 100 times more gold in a tonne of mobile phones than in a tonne of gold ore. With these figures in mind, an overhaul is required in the way individuals, governments and industries think about and deal with e-waste.

E-waste management calls for

  • Responsible production by reducing the use of hazardous material
  • Re-use and recycling of equipment
  • Maintenance of records of e-waste
  • Disposal of e-waste as per E-waste Management Rules
  • There is a need for businesses to implement responsible reuse and recycling of end of life electrical & electronic equipment such as computers, cell phones, printers, laptops, cables, fridges, washing machines, air conditioners etc. through authorised e-waste recyclers and safeguard environment. Producers of electrical & electronic devices are also obligated to get end of life equipment collected from the end user to perform their duty under Extended Producers’ Responsibility as defined in the Rules.

    E-waste is not just waste but contains several metals consisting of ferrous, non-ferrous, gold, silver etc. over & above several types of plastic and glass. At the same time, the recyclers takes care of segregating hazardous elements from these dead equipment so that the same are disposed off properly to avoid mixing with water, air & soil. | Available on