Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation,
4) A rapidly growing e-waste crisis needs rapid official decision making and time-bound responses. Critically analyze.(250 words)
Why this question
E-waste generation across the world has increased significantly on account of growing adoption of technology and electronic products. The e-waste can be recycled to collect valuable metals but the process in India has been associated with a lot of environmental and health problems. In this context it is important to analyze the problem in depth and seek possible solutions.
Critically analyze- here we have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to write in detail about the problem of e-waste in India, analyze all the related aspects and form an opinion on the issue as to what should be our course of action.
Structure of the answer
Introduction- write a few introductory lines about e-waste generation, import and processing ratio in India. E waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. The Global E-Waste Monitor estimates that 44.7 million tonnes (mt) of e-waste was generated in 2016. India was the fourth-largest generator (2 mt)
- Discuss the adverse effects of e-waste processing on health and environment. E.g a mere 5 per cent of India’s e-waste gets recycled, much less than the global recycling rate of only 20 per cent; 95 percent of India’s e-waste is managed by the unorganised sector using dangerous methods to recover metals from circuit-boards and wires.; Since electrical wires are almost invariably encased in PVC, which contains 57 percent chlorine, the act of burning produces deadly dioxins. The smoke from such burning is known to cause cancer, damage the nervous system, and also poses several other health hazards; Leakage of metals in the environment ending up in environmental and water pollution etc.
- Discuss about the e-waste rules and problems faced thereto. E.g Management of e-waste requires its dismantling, refurbishment or recycling and safe disposal The E Waste Management Rules 2016 address these issues. Extended producer responsibility is mandated to ensure effective plans for collection, setting up collection centres and buy back mechanisms or a deposit refund scheme. But the Rules need to be backed by enforcement of the regulatory framework, provision of the necessary infrastructure, and an enabling environment for compliance etc.
Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. e.g Cities should organise quarterly collection drives or provide drop -off centres. Producers should set up collection centres for EEE. Meanwhile, we as users can reduce e-waste by buying long-life items, and supporting repair and refurbishment etc.