In­dia targets dis­carded elec­tron­ics that may poi­son en­vi­ron­ment

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

MUM­BAI: In­dia is propos­ing strin­gent new rules to crack down on waste from dis­carded elec­tron­ics that will re­quire those who make and sell the units to be re­spon­si­ble for col­lect­ing old de­vices that oth­er­wise would end up in land­fills.

The rules are aimed at pre­vent­ing toxic chem­i­cals in­cluded in elec­tron­ics from leach­ing into the en­vi­ron­ment. For the first time, the rules will cover com­pact flu­o­res­cent lamps, most of which in­clude quan­ti­ties of mer­cury that can poi­son or kill hu­mans as it seeps from land­fills into the ground­wa­ter or farm­land. They ap­ply both to man­u­fac­tur­ers and the com­pa­nies that sell elec­tron­ics. En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Prakash Javadekar said In­dia will man­date col­lect­ing 30 per­cent of the units by 2018 and 70 per­cent by 2023. Those who pro­duce the goods will be re­quired to es­tab­lish a method to pick up the units as their cus­tomers dis­card them. "A pro­vi­sion for fi­nan­cial penalty for vi­o­la­tion of rules has also been in­tro­duced," Javadekar said at a a press con­fer­ence in New Delhi on Wed­nes­day. The new rules will help im­prove the ac­count­abil­ity of com­pa­nies pro­duc­ing elec­tron­ics by mak­ing them re­spon­si­ble for waste, said Tox­ics Links, an en­vi­ron­men­tal re­search and ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tion. The cur­rent sys­tems with few re­stric­tions on dump­ing elec­tron­ics raises the risk that toxic sub­stances inside can leak into the wa­ter ta­ble, farm­land or at­mos­phere. Some goods are thrown into land­fills, where poi­sonous ma­te­ri­als can es­cape.

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