IFC, a member of the World Bank Group has partnered with Karo Sambhav, a collective producer responsibility organization (PRO) engaged in developing and implementing responsible electronic waste (e-waste) management solutions across India for its member producers. Electronic waste refers to discarded electrical or electronic devices, including phones, computers, tablets, refrigerators, air conditioners amongst others.
Karo, focused on the Information Technology Enabled Services Industry, represents several prominent electronic producers including Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and HP and will help these organizations comply with the E-waste Management and Handling Rules 2016 through a transformative technology enabled e-waste management and governance platform. The Rules mandate electronic producers collect and responsibly recycle 30 percent of the waste generated for the first two years and gradually increase it to 70 percent by 2023.
“We aim to be a pioneer in establishing sustainable E-waste management solutions across India and making recycling a way of life,” said Pranshu Singhal, Founder & Director, Karo Sambhav. “We are committed to achieving high environmental and social standards in collection, dismantling and recycling of e-waste and bringing about transparency at every level through the use of technology.”
India, the fifth largest producer of E-waste globally, generates over 1.8 million tonnes of e-waste per annum with a growth rate of 30 percent per annum. With 95 percent of E-waste being collected and handled by the informal sector which uses unsafe methods to dismantle and recycle e-waste, it leads to serious health hazards for value chain partners. It is estimated that 76 percent of electronic-waste workers suffer from respiratory ailments due to improper safeguards at dismantling units. In addition, a large part of these electronic products get accumulated in landfills leading to the deterioration of the environment.
IFC’s India E-waste program aims to optimize recovery of resources from electrical and electronic products, keeping discarded or obsolete electronic products out of landfills, and to promote the adoption of responsible e-waste management practices in India. The program will also roll out a pan-India multi stakeholder awareness campaign to address low awareness levels about e-waste and increase sustainable e-waste channelization among households, companies, schools, colleges, and government agencies. IFC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Karo Sambhav and the Indian Cellular Association, the apex body of the mobile industry, to collaborate on developing this sustainable e-waste management system for India.
The awareness and engagement programmes aim to reach out to over 1,000 Schools and 2,000 institutional consumers of e-waste across 27 states over the next one year. The India E-waste Program is supported by the government of Japan and the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund of the World Bank Group.