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India reveals ambitious plan to secure ‘scientific’ recycling

India – India’s Environment Ministry has tightened rules for manufacturers, dealers, retailers and refurbishers of electronic goods to ensure that e-scrap is collected and properly recycled. Fines as well as greater control by states is hoped to boost the sector’s results.

The new rules say that producers will have to ensure 30% e-scrap collection, based on their projected sales, by 2018 and 70% by 2023. The actual date of the rules and quantum of fines would be announced later this year after discussions with state officials, according to Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.

He urges that the measures will ‘stricter and better’ than existing rules introduced in 2011. ‘Our main aim is to ensure that those involved in collecting e-waste do it more safely and scientifically,’ Javadekar adds.

This move is ‘extremely ambitious’ and represents a ‘paradigm shift’ in the way India views e-scrap, notes Ravi Agarwal, director of environmental organisation Toxics Link.

India generated approximately 1.7 million tonnes of e-scrap in 2014, while the trend suggests this volume is annually increasing by 5%.

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