Everyone is so lost in the urban rat race that we all have forgotten the
world around us. We never stop and think about what we are giving back to the
earth other than the increased carbon footprints and e-wastes. We have all the
bad things to highlight if we start analyzing-from carbon emissions to e-wastes.
According to a UN report, India is the second largest e-waste generator in
Asia. Unless action is taken immediately to properly collect and recycle
materials, many developing countries will face the specter of hazardous e-waste
mountains with serious consequences regarding the environment and public health.
In 2009, India generated 5.9 million tonnes of hazardous waste, posing serious
The UN study says that by 2020, e-wastes from old computers would jump by 500
percent from the 2007 levels in India, and by 200 percent to 400 percent in
South Africa and China. The
e-wastes from old mobile phones will be seven times higher in China and eighteen
times higher in India.
A recent report by the Delhi based Center for Science and Environment (CSE)
says that apart from generating about 3,50,000 tonnes of electronic waste every
year, India imports another 50,000 tonnes. The study alleges that the
unorganized sector recycles more than 90 percent of this and instead of
organizing this sector, government chooses to ignore it.
The organization also says that Attero Recycling-which has the only license
in India to import e-waste-is reselling e-waste instead of recycling it. It is
illegally trading e-waste, and such illegal trade results in huge pollution in
the industry. As per the data, India generated 3,30,000 tonnes of e-waste in
2007 which is equal to 110 million laptops. About 10 percent of the e-waste
generated is recycled every year.
According to CSE, the government's new draft rules with regard to waste
management ignore the reality and are likely to be toothless. It is estimated
that illegal import of e-waste in the country stands at about 50,000 tonnes
annually and loopholes in the laws facilitate this. It is being reported that
the free trade agreements-currently being negotiated with the European Union and
Japan-include provisions for these countries to dump their e-waste in India. If
this trend continues, India will soon become dumping ground for the global
e-waste. It's our duty to prevent such a global disaster.