The Electronics industry is the world’s largest and fastest growing manufacturing industry. Along with increasing disposable income and availability of electronics goods has increased temptation of consumers to replace their electronic items at faster rate. The world produces 50 million tonnes of electrical and electronics waste per year according to UN report. . In 2016, India was the fifth largest producer of e-waste in the world after the United States, China, Japan and Germany, and according to the Global E-waste Monitor 2017 estimates, it generated nearly 2 million metric tons of e-waste in 2016. Most of this e-waste ends up in landfills or recycled informally in developing nations.
Informal recycling has devastating effects on worker’s health and the environment. Electrical & electronics equipment manufacturing requires heavy mining. In the process, it destroys huge belt of natural habitat, causes air and water pollution and threatens the health of nearby communities. It comes with many social problems too like large scale human and animal displacement for industrialization and poor working conditions.
E-waste presents a huge opportunity of mining raw materials approx. 55 billion euros, according to Global e-waste monitor. By 2021, e-waste recycling industry is expected to touch Rs1,30,000 crores in India. The dumping of e-waste represents not only environmental disaster, but also loss of valuable resources. Currently in India a lot of start-ups are trying to grab this huge opportunity and mint money out of this trash.
Mostly start-ups are based on either as
- E-waste processor : responsible of breaking the waste its components. e.g. Attero recycling, Namo ewaste, E Parisara, Karma Recycling etc.
- E-waste collector who simply collects electronic recyclable waste e.g. BinBag incubated from IIM Bangalore, Pune recyclers, Ultrust Solutions Pvt. Ltd. etc.
But the main problem these start-ups facing are imported technology from other countries is expensive and lack of inhouse innovation in processes & technology which can recover resources from the waste that is generated in the consumption process. Also, In India such end of life material have been predominantly handled by informal sector. There is urgent need of bringing informal sector into formal sector which other companies are struggling with. Therefore, a lot of innovation needs to be done to integrate all stakeholders concerned, including consumers, producers, collectors, aggregators, dismantlers, recyclers, both in formal and informal sector.
This will reduce the dependence on imports, enhance resource security for production, lead to development of skilled jobs and a better work force, higher GDP and an economy which will be resilient to external economic and trade shocks. Furthermore, it will enhance resource security which is key to success of missions like Make in India.
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