Mobiles among most dangerous e-waste in India

The volume of e-waste generated globally is expected to reach 130 million tonnes in 2018 from 93.5 million tonnes in 2016.
Assocham report

Mobile phones, personal computing devices and televisions are the 'most dangerous' e-waste generated in India, according the study by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India-cKinetics

Emerging as one of the world's top producers of these discarded products, India is likely to generate 5.2 million metric tonnes of e-waste per annum by 2020 from the current level 1.8 million tonnes, growing 30 per cent annually.

The volume of e-waste generated globally is expected to reach 130 million tonnes in 2018 from 93.5 million tonnes in 2016.

Computers, televisions and mobile phones have been termed as the most dangerous because of the high levels of lead, mercury and cadmium, the report said. They are also discarded more frequently because of their short life spans.

The report comes after the government declined requests from iPhone maker Apple to sell certified refurbished, or second-hand, phones in India, to prevent dumping of hazardous e-waste in the country.

E-waste typically includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, cathode ray tubes, printed circuit boards, mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, white goods such as liquid crystal display and plasma televisions.

In India, the government, public and private (industrial) sectors account for almost 75 per cent of e-waste generation. The share of individual households is about 16 per cent and the rest is contributed by manufacturers, according to the study.

Only 1.5 per cent of the country's e-waste is recycled due to poor infrastructure, legislation and framework, which lead to a waste of diminishing natural resources, irreparable damage to environment and health of the people working in industry.

Over 95 per cent of the e-waste is managed by the unorganised sector and scrap dealers, who dismantle the discarded products instead of recycling them. As per the study, about two-thirds of ewaste workers in India suffer from respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis.

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