India’s e-waste production has risen almost 2.5 times to 3.23 million metric tonnes in six years to 2019, according to the Global E-Waste Monitor Report 2020. India is also the only country in South Asia to have a specific legal framework for handling e-waste since 2011. The E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules address not just the need to handle e-waste in an environmentally friendly way, but also its transportation, storage, and recycling. They have also introduced the concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR). In 2016, the rules were tweaked to introduce Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) while bringing buy-back, deposit refund, and exchange schemes under EPR. However, given the high cost of handling and procurement, low margins, and underutilization of capacities, most formal sector or pollution control board-recognized e-waste handlers are grappling with basic problems.

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