With the passage of time, human efforts have often resulted in simplification of the living standards. The invention of electricity and the facility provided using this means has been immense and great. Our lives are incomplete without these devices. These machines have made our everyday life easier. Insomuch as the electrical gadgets as well as electronic products have been beneficial to us, but such equipment disposal, when out of order or need to be thrown out, have always been an issue of great concern as such products comprise of hazardous and toxic components responsible for environmental pollution.
In order to regulate the proper disposal of the electric and electronic products once their life has been exhausted and they are no longer good for use, the Government enforced the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as the “e-waste rules”). The said e-waste rules impose obligations on the producers of wastes of the electric/electronic products (hereinafter referred to as “e-waste”) in order to ensure that they are properly discarded without causing harm to the environment.
As per the provisions of Rule 3 (cc) of the e-waste rules, a producer of e-waste is any person who, irrespective of the selling technique used such as dealer, retailer, e-retailer, etc.;
- manufactures and offers to sell electrical and electronic equipment and their components or consumables or parts or spares under its own brand; or
- offers to sell under its own brand, assembled electrical and electronic equipment and their components or consumables or parts or spares produced by other manufacturers or suppliers; or
- offers to sell imported electrical and electronic equipment and their components or consumables or parts or spares;
Duties of the Producer
Under the provisions of the e-waste rules (Rule 5), a producer shall be responsible for-
- implementation of the extended producer responsibility plan stating the process of collection and channelization of e-waste generated, its appropriate treatment and disposal methods, public awareness programs, directions for handling/disposal of equipment after use, composition of the hazardous elements therein, etc.;
- to provide information on the implementation of Deposit Refund Scheme to ensure collection of end-of-life products and their channelization to authorised dismantlers or recyclers;
- import of electrical and electronic equipment only after having obtained Extended Producer Responsibility authorisation;
- maintaining records for e-waste handled or generated to be made available to the Central Pollution Control Board;
- filing annual returns providing details of the e-waste generated, treated, dismantled and recycled to the Central Pollution Control Board;
- apply to the Central Pollution Control Board for the Extended Producer Responsibility – Authorisation.
With our increasing dependence on electrical and electronic products in the form of various equipment including television, washing machines, mobile phones, laptops, refrigerators, etc., it is very important to ascertain that all such products are properly disposed after the exhaustion of their life period. The legislative approach in this regard enables the adequate usage and clearance of the wastes so generated so that we have access to a cleaner and healthy environment.