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  1. KEITUMETSE TSUBANE
  2. E-waste Challenge
  3. Thursday, 12 May 2016
Only people in certain governmental ministries such as ministry of environment are aware of dangers surrounding e-waste but there is not much they are doing about it. Yes we are one of the countries that signed the conventions but so far there is practically nothing done on awareness. A lot of awareness campaigns have to be done, the only way out is education.
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In India - e-waste' means electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes.


Basel Ban And Its Implications On The Waste Recycling And Their Transboundary Movement


The first and foremost problem that the recycling industry in India faces is the lack of a clear-cut definition of a hazardous waste as per Basel. Further, the Basel definition of wastes includes those meant for recycling/re-use operations as well. There is no distinction between (i) wastes that are hazardous in nature and, therefore, their movement should be prohibited, and (ii) wastes that are non-hazardous and recyclable, and their import/export should be allowed. As a result of this non-distinction, many of the important recyclable have been included under the Basel ban. The Basel ban also discriminates against non-parties and non-annex VII states, unless bilateral, multilateral or regional agreements under Article 11 of the Convention are allowed to continue when the export ban becomes legally binding after ratification of the amendment by 75% of the parties. If the Article 11 provision is negated by the amendment, then the export ban will clearly be discriminatory.

India is unable to continue sourcing recyclable from developed countries, even if one can ensure environmentally sound management of these materials in the country.

First, in the absence of availability of non-ferrous metallic scrap or wastes from the developed countries as a result of the ban and the scarcity of virgin ores, India is forced to resort to (i) the import of concentrate, as well as (ii) depend on primary production process of virgin metals, in order to meet the internal demand. Both options are uneconomical.

Second, if recycling operations for wastes generated/imported are not sustained properly, the wastes generated in the country will end up in the final disposal. In the long term, one would expect a proportional increase in waste generation in India matching the pace of rapid industrialization.

Third, dumped recyclable wastes may prove to be more environmentally hazardous. The metallic content that of leachates from the wastes upon exposure to different environments may cause ground water pollution. This again demands precautionary steps to be taken to carry out the disposal operations and the whole exercise will be even more costly.
References
  1. http://mpcb.gov.in/hazardous/baselconven.php
  Pune, Maharashtra, India
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