As much as 12 percent of the 18.5 lakh metric tonnes discarded by India constitutes of telecom equipment alone, the joint study conducted by industry body Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) and consultancy firm KPMG, said.
“With more than 100 crore mobile phones in circulation, nearly 25 percent end up in e-waste annually,” the study stated.
“India has surely emerged as the second largest mobile market with 1.03 billion subscribers, but also the fifth largest producer of e-waste in the world, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh metric tonnes of electronic waste each year with telecom equipment alone accounting for 12 per cent of the e-waste,” it said.
While releasing the study, P. Balaji, chairman of Assocham national council on telecommunications, said, “Over 100 million handsets have been manufactured last year”.
The unorganised sector in India is estimated to handle around 95 per cent of the e-waste produced in the country. Given the huge user base and vast reach of telecom in India, it is practically difficult and expensive for the handset manufacturers to achieve the targets prescribed in the rules from first year.
Suggesting a system of feasible checks, Assocham said that e-waste collection targets should be implemented in a phased manner with lower and practically achievable target limits.
Also, the detailed implementation of procedures for collection of e-waste from the market needs to be followed, it said in a statement.