Although 80 % of Indians are aware of the health hazards related to e-waste yet about 50 % of Indians hoard no-longer-in-use electronic devices in their homes according to a survey conducted by Cerebra Green and MAIT and published on the news portal, Economic Times & Indiatimes.
The survey was carried out across the Indian cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad and gathered responses from about 600 people regarding their awareness levels concerning best e-waste management and its disposal. The survey also threw some light on the disposal practices followed by these people with the reasons behind the same.
Around 68 % of the respondents did not regard local waste collectors as an alternative for disposing of their e-waste. Many responded by saying that there is no local waste collector in their area for e-waste. Therefore, about 90 % of the respondents relied on online exchange programs and local retailers to dispose of their e-waste; abiding by the guidelines for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
The Indian industries contribute to 70 % of the e-waste generated in India and households contribute to about 15 % of the e-waste. The remaining is counted as the end of shelf-life electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The generation of e-waste in India had touched 3 million tonnes in 2018. It is worth noting that India is one of the countries that have the fastest growing fastest-growing consumer of electronic devices.
Important Highlights from the survey:
· About 80% of the respondents have knowledge regarding e-waste.
· 50% of the respondents hoarded a minimum of 2 or more no-longer-in-use electronic items at home. About 30% hoarded 3–4 electronic items that should have been discarded and 20% of the respondents hoarded over 5 defunct devices.
· Almost 50% of the respondents kept in their houses old electronic devices that were over 5 years old. Around 28% kept 3–4 years old electronic devices while about 23% were using two years or less old devices.
· 72% of the respondents shared that the e-waste gathered in their area did not ask for e-waste from them.
· 68% of the respondents shared that they did not give their e-waste to the local waste aggregator while 32% of the respondents shared that they did give their e-waste to the local collector
· About 82% of the respondents said that they never handed over their refrigerator, microwave or air conditioner, etc. to a local waste collector while 18% gave a positive reply to the same.
· 47% of the respondents were making the use of their e-waste in online exchange programs, while they purchased a new one. 43% gave their e-waste to the local electronic retailers and 10% used it at the electronic brand outlets.
· 40% of the respondents had been using more than a five-year-old refrigerator, 37% were still having a two to five years old fridge.
· 82% were interested in handing over their e-waste to unauthorized/authorized e-waste recyclers for free if they made sure to manage the e-waste properly without using any environmental pollution.
· 81% of the respondents understood about the dangerous fractions present in e-waste that require exceptional treatment for their safe disposal. However, 19% of the respondents did not know about this fact.