New Delhi: Stating that the draft e-waste management rules of 2022 completely ignores the role and responsibilities of dismantlers or Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs), the Indian Federation of Reverse Logistics (IFRL) has called on the government to recognize their position in the Extended Producer Responsibility value chain and not rid them of their livelihoods.
Considering that hazardous materials, and other things such as plastic and other metals, are the end product of the e-waste recycling chain and while applying the concept of circular economy – in simple terms, the production /waste at the end of the product cycle re-injects into the same chain or becomes the raw material for another product – the e-waste management rules of 2016 had defined the roles and responsibilities of the whole chain of value.
Since the enforcement of e-waste rules in 2016, over 75 PROs and over 400 dismantlers have opened stores across India. These have acted as a valuable bridge between producer and recycler by providing the necessary logistics to bring together e-waste at the product level with quality supply and better collection mechanism across the country. “Before these rules, the recycling rate was less than 1%, which is now 4-5% with an absolute growth of about 15 times during these years,” the Federation pointed out.
The newly formed Federation includes companies active in reverse logistics that seek to develop a green supply chain across the country to facilitate the collection and channeling of e-waste and help create a circular economy.
The e-Waste Rules 2022 were launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) on May 19.
“Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR) was set out in the draft 2022 e-waste management rules to achieve recycling targets only through registered recyclers. But there is a need to keep the reverse value chain going integrated including consumers, PROs, collection centers, dismantlers to support producers, importers, brand owners and recyclers with quality supply and better collection mechanism across the country only then there can be better recyclability,” Vijai Singhal, a member of the Federation office listed the long list of works/jobs that PROs perform.
Underlined Nisha Banth, spokesperson for the Federation, “It goes against the laws on monopolies and also with the right to earn a living legally. The draft rules have left us in the lurch.”
“PROs can continue to act as catalysts in the e-waste value chain and help make the collection mechanism developed much more robust and integrated into the reverse value chain, in addition to supporting SPCBs and CPCBs in the e-waste data inventory, capacity building exercises to promote collections from residential settlements, resellers, retailers, large consumers, households, office groups and the informal sector,” Banth said. .
Pankaj Nijhawan, another bureau member, pointed out that it was an NGT decision regarding the mismanagement of e-waste in Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) that triggered the 2016 rule. PROs missing in the value chain, do we want more Moradabads?