IFC, along with Karo Sambhav, hosts workshop on e-waste scenario


International Finance Corporation and Karo Sambhav have recently hosted a media sensitization workshop in order to facilitate an interactive discussion around the current and future scenario of e-waste in India. The objective was to create awareness around the severity of India’s mammoth e-waste problem for both, the well-being of its value chain partners as well as the larger environmental scenario.


Elaborating on the workshop, Ronojoy Sircar, Consultant, Advosiry Services, International Fincance Corporation, said, “The 2016 E-Waste Management Rules have given the e-waste management sector an opportunity to not only develop a sustainable ecosystem but also create a formal market that will attract investment and grow employment. The current perception that E-Waste is solely a matter of compliance should evolve into an understanding that e-waste, if managed strategically, is a resource-rich waste stream capable of self-sustaining itself and generating value. The central challenge is lack of awareness. This workshop is an opportunity to build awareness and understanding among stakeholders.”


India is the fifth-largest producer of e-waste in the world.  According to the ASSOCHAM-cKinetics study released in 2016, India’s e-waste production is estimated to be 5.2 million tonnes per annum by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30%. Only 1.5% of the e-waste generated in India gets recycled and over 95% of the e-waste collected is handled by the informal sector, using unsafe methods for recycling and dismantling.


The workshop highlighted the effectiveness of the PRO model and collaborative efforts undertaken in tandem with producers, NGOs, government bodies (Centre and State), industry associations, bulk consumers, waste pickers and aggregators. This included a glimpse of the on-ground implementation of the programme and milestones achieved. The personal experience of the waste aggregators vis-à-vis elevation in their socioeconomic status was also highlighted.


The underlying goal of the workshop was to reiterate the importance of addressing key challenges in India’s e-waste management supply chain via concerted interventions and solutions by the government, media and community at large. In the long term, this requires facilitation of supportive and sustainable ecosystems that keep e-waste out of landfills, promote circular economy, develop responsible recycling infrastructure and standards, and integrate waste collectors into the formal system, among others.


Pranshu Singhal, Founder, Karo Sambhav, said, “Karo Sambhav is a movement which is enabling stakeholders within the e-waste sector to become a part of a sustainable ecosystem. This movement has been made possible because producers like Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo are willing to make investments in solving India’s e-waste problem and believe in developing a grassroot ecosystem. Solutions are possible today more than ever – what is needed is for different stakeholders to work together and catalyze collaborative solutions.”


IFC and Karo Sambhav have come together to develop a pan-India PRO solution for India’s e-waste industry, by engaging with schools and colleges, corporate and government offices, repair shops, waste pickers/ aggregators, and markets across India, to ensure optimal recovery of resources and develop responsible methods of e-waste management.