The rising burden of E- waste

E- waste or electronic waste refers to the waste created by discarding the electronic devices which is rather caused due to its end of useful life, high repair cost , outdated technologies etc. which makes it underrated for further use. These waste includes TV, mobile phones, computer/ desktop, electronic items, wires, machineries etc. This is one of the fastest waste generated.

Everyday lakhs and lakhs of e-waste is generated. The country’s e-waste output is growing at over 30 per cent year on year, and stood at over 10 lakh tonnes in 2019-20, according to government data, comparable to about one lakh six-wheeled truckloads of waste.

It is the third largest in volume globally and growing at a rate ten times faster than its plastic waste output.

Mountains of e-waste pile up, which are as much a threat to the environment as they are to the health of their handlers .It proves vulnerable as people are sifting and processing the waste of the privileged without knowing that it could cause them cancer, reproductive disorders, endocrine disruption and other health complications.

Problems:

The most alarming aspect of e-waste is that less than a quarter of it is being processed.It possess hazardous metals and can contaminate soil, air, water, posing significant risk to human health by entering the food chain.

Unsafe disposal of e waste: About 95% of e waste is recycled by informal sectors and scrap developers without knowing the hazardous effect and use of safe handling practice.

Concern : Majority of e waste are imported to developing countries like India, China, Ghana etc from developed countries for recycling purpose.

With advancement in technologies, standard of living people are more inclined towards use of more gadgets, phones and tend to change them more frequently.

Way forward

E waste clinics for proper segregation, processing and disposal of e waste. Effective ways to implement proper and safe handling of waste.

Initiative taken by government includes: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the LiFE or Lifestyle for Environment movement in June—a concept that he said is borrowed from the past and focuses on the future.

The right to repair is introduced to reduce the e waste and it’s proper management as it is environmental friendly too. But this also concerns the major industries involved in sector as it could lead to their loss and some technologies can’t be added to existing devices .