BANGALORE: Come May, producers and manufacturers of electronic and electrical products will have to take the additional responsibility of retrieving, recycling and safe disposal of their products when they become obsolete and redundant.
Senior environment officer, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, D R Kumaraswamy told Express, “The extended producer responsibility (EPR) under the E-Wastes (Management and Handling ) Rules, 2011, is an environment protection strategy that makes a producer responsible for the entire lifecycle of the product, especially for takeback, recycle and final disposal. With this, the producers’ responsibility is now extended to the post-consumer stage of the product lifecycle.”
This rule will even affect software companies who use and dispose of thousands of computers and are major generators of electronic waste. The IT sector is up in arms against the ruling claiming that there is lot of ambiguity in EPR rules and that they are not producers but only consumers.
Many companies like Infosys, who donate used computers to schools and colleges, will have to take them back for safe disposal.
KSPCB member secretary S M Puttabuddhi said a meeting with major generators of electronic goods, processors, including software companies has been called in March to discuss the issue.
One more ruling that will give a fillip to tackling e-waste is, NGOs will be given the licence to collect old TVs, PCs and mobile phones from households. An NGO Sahas has already launched the project in Koramangala.
“This will help authorised units who are now paying scrap dealers for e-waste,” says Kumaraswamy. Only 250 software companies of the 3,000 in Bangalore are registered with authorised units for safe disposal.