8 out of 10 Indians know about e-waste but 50% hoard unusable devices for upto 5 years – study

Work Desk

80% of Indians are cognizant of the meaning of e-waste and the necessity to use special measures to dispose of it, according to a joint survey conducted by Cerebra Green, the leaders in e-waste management today and MAIT. However, the same citizens tend to dispose e-waste through incorrect means due to a lack of alternative avenues, the survey also revealed.

68% of those surveyed stated that they do not view local waste collectors as an option to dispose e-waste, a belief that is reflected by the waste collectors themselves as 72% of participants stated that local waste collectors do not pick up e-waste in their area. This has forced 90% of citizens to dispose e-waste by means of online exchanges or local electronics vendors. Furthermore, 50% stated that they own 2 or more devices that they no longer use, which they continue to hoard for up to 5 years, thereby heightening the possibility of incorrect disposal.

On a more encouraging note, however, 83% of those surveyed stated that they would be extremely willing to properly dispose of their e-waste if assured of the environmentally-safe nature of the disposal process.

Key Highlights from the survey:

  • Around 80% of the participants were aware about e-waste.
  • 50% of participants were keeping at least 2 or more old, unused devices at home that need to be discarded followed by around 30% keeping 3 to 4 and 20% keeping more than 5 unused devices.
  • Surprisingly, 50% of participants were keeping old, unused devises that were more than 5 years old, 28% keeping 3 to 4 years old and around 23% using 2 years or less old devises.
  • 72% of participants informed that the waste collectors in their area did not collect e-waste from them.
  • 68% of the participants informed that they had never disposed their e-waste by giving it to the local waste collector/aggregator whereas 32% of them informed that they did.
  • Around 82% of participants had never disposed their white goods like refrigerator, air conditioner, microwave etc. through a local waste collector with a meagre of just 18% gave a positive affirmation.
  • 47% participants were utilizing their e-waste in online exchange, at the time of a new purchase, 43% by giving it to the local electronic vendors and 10% at the brand outlets
  • 40% participants had been keeping more than 5-year-old refrigerator, 37% of them still occupying a 2 to 5 years old.
  • 82% showed enthusiasm in giving away their e-waste to e-waste collectors for free if they insured proper handling of the waste not causing environmental pollution.
  • 81% of the participants knew about the hazardous fractions in e-waste that needs special treatment for safe disposal. However, 19% were not aware about this fact.

As part of its efforts to address the issues raised by the survey’s results, Cerebra has partnered with Manufacturers Association of Information and Technology (MAIT), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MOEFCC) and Digital India to launch the ‘India Cleanup Week’, the first and potentially largest cleanup drive in India targeted at the proper and efficient disposal of e-waste. As part of the initiative, e-waste collection will take place in three major forms: collection officers for individual home-pickup, public collection centers and pickup trucks for commercial establishments. MAIT will offer certificate of recognition to corporates which are participating by joining Cerebra during the week.

Analyzing the results, Mr V Ranganathan, Managing Director and Founder, Cerebra Integrated Technologies said, “E-waste awareness in the country is paramount and the results of the survey indicate that citizens are already moving towards this awareness quickly. We will continue to build in-depth knowledge among Indians and other stakeholders around e-waste management and look forward to our associate with MAIT in making this endeavor a success.”

The survey analyzed responses sourced from 600 individuals across key metros including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune to gauge their awareness around e-waste & its management. The survey also studied their disposal habits and reasons behind it.

E-waste production in the country is predicted to touch a whopping 3 million tons by the end of 2018. While industries contribute to 70% of e-waste, Indian households contribute to almost 15% and the rest comes from discarded or ‘end of life’ electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). India is one of the fastest growing consumers of discarded or ‘end of life’ electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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