Ambitious plans to tackle India’s mounting tide of e-waste

The BIR E-Scrap Committee’s meta study of reliable generation and flow data is already in draft form and will be published in the coming months, said E-Scrap Committee Chairman Thomas Papageorgiou of Greece-based Anamet SA at the latest gathering in New Delhi.
Siegfried Springer,

The study includes a summary of per capita e-scrap production around the world and forecasts of the situation in the year 2025, from which it is evident that more than half of the world’s e-scrap will arise in the Asia-Pacific region, said Mr Papageorgiou. Also covered are e-scrap flows in different parts of the world, described by the E-Scrap Committee’s Chairman as “the most difficult part of the study”.

One of the countries anticipating a sharp increase in e-waste generation is India, the venue for the latest BIR Convention. The E-Scrap Committee’s guest speaker B. K. Soni, Chairman and Managing Director of e-waste management specialist Ecoreco, indicated that 3.2 million tonnes is generated annually in India but that a United Nations report forecasts a figure of 20 million tonnes for the year 2020. Around 98% is currently dismantled within the so-called “unorganised” sector in ways that are harmful to health and the environment, he pointed out.

In response, the Indian government is backing an “ambitious” scheme to train 300,000 scrap dealers nationwide over a 10-year period through a network of training centres. “Heavy” investment is still needed in, for example, establishing more collection centres and putting technology in place, Mr Soni added.

Regarding latest market developments, stricter customs controls have meant that the cost of bringing scrap into China is “as high as US$ 10,000 per container”, it was reported by Dr Steve Wong, Executive President of the China Scrap Plastics Association. In a market update read out in his absence by BIR Plastics Committee Chairman Surendra Borad Patawari of Gemini Corporation, Dr Wong added: “WEEE scrap plastic recyclers have no choice but to either close down their operations or move to South East Asian countries to continue their businesses.”

Mr Papageorgiou said that the impact of the new Chinese import policy is also being felt in Europe and that China is not alone in implementing rules that hinder trade, pointing out that the government of Serbia has recently decided to channel export applications through a special committee for approval or otherwise.


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