Greenpeace has been at the forefront on this issue, campaigning for a binding law to make producers financially liable for the management of e-wastes 2.
Commenting on the notification, Abhishek Pratap, Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace India said, “This is not just a victory for the environment but business, as it creates a level-playing field. The rule ensures a transition from the current out-of-sight out-of-mind approach to proper recycling of e-wastes and in the process accelerating the commercial introduction of green electronic products in the market.”
The rule clearly places responsibility on the producers for the entire lifecycle of the product, from design to disposal. Apart from Extended Producer Responsibility principle, the rule is a significant step towards international standards of Restriction of Hazardous substances in electronics3
“By notifying this rule the Government of India has taken a proactive and bold step in the right direction. The main challenge ahead lies in its implementation. In future, we look forward to seeing the rule move towards individual producer responsibility and the banning of more hazardous chemicals.” added Pratap.
Pointing out certain gaps in the rule, Pratap said, “The rule fails to provide safeguards to ensure the ban of import and export of electronic wastes. There is also scope for further improvement by making every producer financially liable for the e-wastes generated by their products, based on its toxicity. To accelerate the introduction of greener products, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and all forms of Brominated Flame Retardants (BFR) should be included as banned substances 4.”
“When we started working on this issue, we were told that the demands we were making were impossible. Five years later, it’s a case of this change being inevitable,” Pratap added.
For further information contact:
Abhishek Pratap, +91 98456 10749
Shashwat Raj, +91 96868 61974
Notes to the editor:
1.E-waste (Management and Handling) Rule, 2011 is notified for implementation on May 30th 2011, by Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) through official gazette. The rule will be implemented from May1st, 2012. The rule is available at http://moef.nic.in/downloads/rules-and-regulations/1035e_eng.pdf
2.The said rule is largely based on the recommendations of a collaborative effort between Greenpeace, MAIT, GIZ and Toxicslink, with support from major electronic companies in India. These recommendations were submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India in 2009 http://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/What-We-Do/Tox-Tech/
3.Six hazardous chemicals - Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated Biphenyls and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers are banned in electronic and electrical equipments listed in Schedule I. Please refer to Sub-clause 1 & 2 of Clause 13 of the rule. http://moef.nic.in/downloads/rules-and-regulations/1035e_eng.pdf
4.Last year, Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) vide Gazette notification on May 14th, 2010 notified the Draft E-waste (Management and Handling) Rule 2010 which include provision for ban on import of second hand electronic equipment for charity and reuse purpose. Electronic equipment imported in the country for charity and reuse purpose largely found its immediate destination in informal recycling yard. However, unfortunately, this strong clause has been removed from the final rule.