E-Waste can be defined as obsolete, broken electrical and electronic devices which have reached their end of life period or are no longer fit for the desired use and are destined for recycling, recovery or disposal. In India E-Waste is defined as per schedule I of E-Waste management rules 2016.
India has EPR based E-Waste legislation since the year 2011 and more recently the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, and E-waste Amendment Rules, 2018, are applicable to every manufacturer, producer, consumer, bulk consumer, collection centre, dealer, e-retailer, refurbisher, dismantler and recycler involved in manufacture, sale, transfer, purchase, collection, storage and processing of e-waste or electrical and electronic equipment listed in Schedule I of the rules.
As per the 2001 OECD Guidance, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is defined as a target based environmental policy approach in which the producer is responsible for a product during the post-consumer stage of a products life cycle. It provides a framework for the awareness generation on E-waste as well as financing to enable a system for collection, reverse logistics, recycling and disposal of E-waste in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
As per the E-Waste legislation in India the following entities are allowed to collect E-waste in India:
a) Pollution Control Board authorized dismantler.
b) Pollution Control Board authorized recycler.
c) Producer Responsibility Organization, collection centres set up by PROs and its channel partners.
d) Collection centres set up by of Producers.
As per the E-Waste rules 2016 a PRO can be defined as a for profit or not for profit organization authorized or financed collectively by producers, which can take the responsibility for collection and channelisation of e-waste generated from the 'end-of-life' of their products to ensure environmentally sound management of such e-waste.
The main responsibility of a PRO can be summarised as:
1. Manage the financing of the EPR system.
2. Conduct awarness raising programmes on e-waste.
3. Manage data and provide reporting and compliance on behalf of its members.
4. Establish standards and audits to maintain the integrity of the system.