The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has taken a significant step towards enhancing e-waste management in the country by issuing the E-Waste (Management) Second Amendment Rules, 2023. Released on 25th July 2023, these amendment rules aim to modify the existing E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022 (“Rules 2022”).
- Manufacturer Responsibilities: The responsibilities of manufacturers, as stated in Rule 5 of Rules 2022, have been updated. Manufacturers are now obligated to ensure secure, accountable, and sustainable management of refrigerants produced during the manufacturing of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. To achieve this, they must adopt approved destruction technologies following the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
- Refurbisher and Recycler Responsibilities: Rule 7 and Rule 9 of the Rules 2022 have been amended to specify the duties of refurbishers and recyclers. Both refurbishers and recyclers are now required to ensure secure, accountable, and sustainable management of refrigerants derived from end-of-life refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. They must adopt approved destruction technologies in accordance with CPCB guidelines.
- Extended Producer Responsibility Certificate: Amendment to Rule 14 (1)(ii) introduces a provision for determining the quantity eligible for generation of extended producer responsibility certificates. In cases where multiple end products of recycling exist, the conversion factor shall be determined based on CPCB guidelines approved by the Steering Committee.
- Exemptions: Rule 16 of Rules 2022 has been revised to include exemptions for certain electrical and electronic equipment. Components, consumables, parts, or spares required for equipment specified in Schedule-IIB placed in the market on or before 1st May 2014 are exempted from the provisions of sub-rule 1 of Rule 16, provided reduction of hazardous substances compliant parts and spares are unavailable. Additionally, inclusion of sub-rule (2A) states that the provisions of sub-rule 1 shall not apply to electrical and electronic equipment specified in Schedule-IIC placed in the market on or before 1st April 2025. Inclusion of sub-rule (2B) states that components, consumables, parts, or spares required for such equipment referred in sub-rule (2A) are exempted until 1st April 2028 if reduction of hazardous substances compliant parts and spares are not available.
- Schedules Amendments: The Schedules of the Rules 2022 have been modified to align with the amended provisions.
These amendments represent a significant effort by MoEFCC to promote responsible e-waste management, particularly concerning refrigerant handling in the manufacturing, refurbishment, and recycling processes. The move is expected to have a positive impact on the environment and create a more sustainable approach to managing electronic waste in India.