Waste Trafficking and E-Waste


In the period of speedy increase in scientific progression, it is challenging to determine whether we are leading towards pride or abuse. This 21st-century development is extremely valued which is measured by the 18th-century Industrial revolution as acts as a standard in this world and every nation. India is listed 5th in the world amidst top e-waste generating countries-USA, China, Japan, and Germany with a shortage of a renewed record of e-waste produced executes it challenging to quantify the e-waste recycled and disposed of. Most of the Indians dispose of mobile phones, television sets, abandoned computers, mobile chargers, etc. by trading it to a scrap merchant.

Increasing e-waste is not merely one nation’s point of interest preferably a global problem. Rapid variations in the level of need for assistance, abilities, and venerable electronic accessories create enhanced e-waste. Laws may evolve into existence but its applicability is limited.


The obsolete, antiquated, damaged, or irreparable electronic gadgets like laptops, printers, scanners, computers, pagers, fax devices, and many further outmoded and broken devices. Printing cartridges, tapes, DVDs, CDs are also counted in this division. Manufactured trash like bells, horns, electric sensors, and armed electric wastes also fall in this division other than merely waste generation by internal ones.

A waste comes under the range of the Convention if it is within the classification of wastes placed in Annex I of the Convention and it shows one of the hazardous components included in Annex III[1]. In other terms, it must both be registered and maintain a characteristic such as implying dangerous, combustible, poisonous, or destructive. The distinct way that waste may fall beneath the extent of the Convention is if it is described as or deemed to be a hazardous waste beneath the laws of the exporting nation, the importing nation, or any of the nations of transition[2].

Problematic toxic elements: 

Lead: The health consequences of the poisonous component lead are much contradictory. Vulnerability to it creates brain damage in children and has already been forbidden from many custom stocks. It also disturbs the natural capacity of soil and water in the context. 

The element has been practiced at least since 3000 B.C. for its dynamic features like strength capacity to resist corrosion and it has a huge melting temperature

Approximately all microelectronics include some measure of lead-

This can be determined by the 2004 EPA report that exposed that ‘12 distinct sorts of electronics each filtered lead into soils at rates that surpass EPA regulations in research examining the leachate potential of numerous electronic gadgets.’

Due to before-mentioned negative potential for contamination by lead has commenced to definite bans on electronics in garbage. For example, CRT’s and televisions have been forbidden in landfills in California.

The Indian and confined researches also determine the hazardous impact of lead on creations and life. “According to National Centre for Lead poisoning, the dangerous levels of lead distinguished in many blood specimens in Bangalore are associated hazardous recycling techniques which were practiced originally for batteries and promptly it is for e-waste.”

Other toxic ingredients are Cadmium, Mercury, Beryllium, Arsenic, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) which incorporate in the list.

Basel Convention:

it is an international convention that was considered in particular to defeat the movements of dangerous and various poisonous wastes among nations, and especially to counter the transferal of dangerous waste from advanced to less advanced nations or the developing nations and also wanted to reduce the amount and toxicity levels of trash produced, essentially to guarantee their environmentally sound administration.

Legislations internationally:

Legislations in India:

 Constitution of India– Article 21 which ensures the right to life includes the fundamental right and comfort to existing in a healthy and safe surrounding. The law empowers solid waste management as principal accountability of government through districts. Article 243-in the 12th schedule strives at revitalizing and sustaining the urban management so that it can operate efficiently as layers of the local authority in various sectors of the country.

The E-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011:

Its principal objective is to channelize the E-waste produced in the nation for environmentally reliable recycling which is mainly regulated by the unorganized division who are embracing crude and unusual exercises that occurs in an enhanced level of pollution and less improvement, whereby prompting wastage of valuable sources and destruction to the ecosystem. Ministry of Environment and Forests after discussing numerous stakeholders considered the need for planning an administration report for implementation of the prerequisites of these practices that may support the producers, customer & Bulk Customer, Collection Center, Dismantler, Recycler, and Administrative companies for the efficient agreement of these laws and patterns setting up collection device, destroying and recycling services. 

Difficulties arising due to waste trafficking:

The most difficult element is the necessity of authenticity of data creation and evaluations. Most of the data produced on e-waste are only estimations. There is barely any information on whole imports of e-waste, both legitimate and illegitimate, into the nation. 

The GTZ MAIT study conducted out by IMRB estimated e-waste produced from machines, mobiles, and television and to evaluate waste illegally shipped in the nation. There has been an expansion in the waste streams leading to the formal recycling assemblies as the number of approved recycling types of equipment has more than increased since 2007. 

Evolving e-waste problem in India

According to several other studies and analyses, about 95 % of India’s e-waste is reclaimed in the informal and non-authenticated area and roughly and simply which involves standard dismantling, division, and destroying, dangerous removal and collection using heating methods, acidic removal of elements and burning of waste to eliminate flammable plastics and confining metals.

A 2015 statement by the United Nations Environment Programme, India is one of the primary areas for large-scale shipments of dangerous wastes, including e-waste, in the region of Asia. Ironically, according to the Dangerous and Additional Wastes (Management and Trans-boundary) Rules, 2016, conveying e-waste for disposal is forbidden in India and can be viewed as e-waste trafficking. For recycling, former approval from the government is needed but only in the matter of second-hand goods. Notwithstanding, the Central Board of Excise and Customs requires to differentiate among second-hand goods and e-waste. Also if the law permits the import of second-hand goods for refurbishing, many terms and provisions are stapled like they have to be re-exported to the nation of source in 1-3 years. And these sorts of severe laws have not met enough consideration.


  1. The source of the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) strives to assign full accountability for the acquisition of automated outputs and their secure and peculiar action on the generators. Incentives or any sort of feasible profits should be provided to the customer for providing old automated assets for reusing these authorized and confirmed parts rather than contributing to people operating in the unorganized sector.
  2. The government should promote and develop more information about the individual disposal methods of electric wastes from internal wastes and encourage NGOs to assist in this matter.
  3. The Basel Convention has developed the notion of the public sector and civil community for overcoming dangerous wastes at origin and increasing their recycling and re-use. Before-mentioned arrangements should be performed at national and international levels.
  1. Manufacturers of all commodities which fall beneath the list of e-wastes must be accountable for training customers concerning the menace to health and the conditions due to unreasonable cause of disposal.


We can provide a great lifestyle but lack knowledge or implementation abilities in handling the e-waste generated through elements of our modern-day community. It is one of the expanded portions of environmental and health crises. But there is a difference of civilization into capturing the environment. The need for reliable data comprising a wider assortment of commodities across the nation is significant and needs urgent consideration. Also, new waste management procedures should begin to determine the forthcoming emergency and counter human health and the environment. The administration constantly operates an essential role in the development and in assuring public safety. Hence it has a significant duty to discover and execute those solutions. Guaranteeing public efficiency is a different principal feature to arrange a safe present and tomorrow.

Author: Varun Vikas Srivastav,
Amity Law School, Amity University Noida and 4th Year BBA.LLB

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