The electronics industry is expanding at an exponential rate and there has been a swift progression in technology and ascension in demand. On the other hand, discard rates of technology have also gone higher owing to high rates of technological obsolescence. According to a recent market report by Transparency Market Research, e-waste volumes in India alone are expected to surpass 2.15 million tons by 2018. It is obvious that demand for such gadgets will continue to increase because of advancements in technology, status and style, and so will the amount of e-waste being generated. Taking into consideration the current scenario, we should stop gauging the quantum of e-waste as it is bound to swell. Instead, we should focus more on the methods of efficient eco-friendly disposal of e-waste.
Moreover, there is a dire need for a paradigm shift in the mindsets of the general masses regarding the hazards associated with e-waste. At present most of them are unaware of the hazardous nature of e-waste and the necessity of environmentally responsible disposal. As a result, consumers often dispose their e-waste with local kabadiwallahs, scrap dealers and informal recyclers for financial gains. The general populace needs to be made to realize and understand that a cleaner environment is a matter of collective responsibility and it is much more important than petty financial gains they get from scrap dealers in lieu of their old electronic items.
Similarly, the role and accountability of the corporate sector also plays a significant part and can turn e-waste into a treasure trove of recoverable resources. As bulk consumers of electronics, corporate organizations also generate huge amounts of e-waste, and taking the responsibility to dispose their e-waste in an eco-friendly manner is imperative for a sustainable planet.
Along with sustainable technology for eco-friendly e-waste disposal and combined efforts from both people and corporate organizations, the inclusion of informal players in the mainstream recycling industry is equally essential. Over 90% of the e-waste in India is handled by informal recycling setups, which make use of crude and polluting techniques for processing e-waste. To address this issue, there needs to be a shift from informal recycling to organized recycling and only a socially inclusive approach can help in this respect, one that aims to assimilate the informal sector into the organized sector. This can be achieved by providing them with a proper, yet easily accessible training program on the appropriate handling of e-waste. Attero has partnered with International Finance Corporation for the Clean E India initiative, where Attero is working with last-mile collectors and informal recyclers to help set up an effective consumer e-waste take back program and address the e-waste issue.
As responsible citizens, we need to realize that man made products have a certain life cycle, and at the same time natural resources are not in proportion to satisfy our production needs. In light of the current scenario, recycling is a parallel industry and not just an after-thought. Implementing a proper e-waste management mechanism becomes even more important if we look at several other indirect benefits apart from a cleaner & greener environment. For instance, proper recycling would help ensure better resource recovery and utilization, better productivity at lesser prices, less conventional mining and less imbalance to the resource equilibrium. When it comes to building Green Cities, realizing these benefits is crucial. However, for such efforts to be successful, it will have to be a collective effort, one that involves equal effort from everyone, right from consumers and OEMs to corporate organizations and recyclers.
In a bid to address these e-waste issues, Attero has been organizing E-waste Awareness Events and Collection Drives under the Clean E-India Initiative, targeting residential societies, corporate organizations and educational institutions. As there is a general lack of awareness among consumers about e-waste, these awareness and e-waste collection events help educate general masses about hazardous e-waste and why they need to dispose their old end of life electronics. Consumers are encouraged to drop off their e-waste in E-waste Collection Bins placed at the premises. These events are helping Attero build a sustainable and eco-friendly mechanism of e-waste disposal. This Earth Day, Attero is targeting several corporate organizations as well as residential societies for conducting E-waste Awareness Programs and Collection Drives in the Delhi NCR region as part of its ongoing effort to help raise awareness about e-waste and promote eco-friendly recycling.