Rapid metamorphosis in technologies and the competition amongst consumers to acquire the latest has resulted in quick obsolescence of electronic goods where products are replaced instead of repaired for trivial reasons. The scenario of E-waste handling and management in India represents a dismal picture. Hence, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on 2nd November 2022, has published the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022 which shall come into force from the 1st day of April, 2023.  


The E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022 apply to all manufacturers, producers, refurbishers, dismantlers, and recyclers engaged in the production, sale, transfer, purchase, refurbishment, dismantling, recycling, and processing of e-waste or electrical as well as electronic equipment listed in Schedule I, as well as their components, consumables, parts, and spares that make the product operational.  

It does not however apply to: 

  1. waste batteries as covered under the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022; 
  2. packaging plastics as covered under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016; 
  3. micro enterprise as defined in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006; and 
  4. radio-active wastes as covered under the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962. 

Electronic Goods:  

The notification includes specific information about a wide range of electronic goods, including computers, landline and mobile phones, cameras, recorders, music systems, microwaves, refrigerators, and medical equipment. 

Key Provisions: 

  1. As per Schedule III of the new draft rules, consumer goods and electronics manufacturers must ensure that at least 60% of the electronic waste is collected & recycled by 2023, with goals to raise those percentages to 70% & 80% in 2024 and 2025, respectively. 
  2. As per Chapter III, the portal requires all manufacturers, producers, refurbishers, and recyclers to be registered. A company’s annual production & e-waste collection targets must be stated when registering on online internet portal of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Regulation 7(2) states that it is the responsibility of the refurbisher to collect e-waste generated during the process of refurbishing and hand over the waste to registered recycler and upload information on the portal. 
  3. As per Regulation 5(2) under chapter III, every manufacturer is required to gather any e-waste produced during the production of electrical and electronic equipment and ensure its recycling or disposal. They must also submit annual and quarterly returns in the prescribed format on the portal by the end of the month following the quarter or year to which the return relates. 
  4. As per Regulation 6(3) under chapter III, the producer of electrical and electronic equipment is required to spread awareness through publications, advertisements, posters, and other forms of communication. They must also submit annual and quarterly returns in the prescribed format via the portal by the end of the month following the quarter or year, as applicable, to which the return relates. Through the portal, they must obtain and put into practise the enhanced producer responsibility targets specified in Schedules III and IV. 
  5. As per Regulation 8, the bulk consumers [any entity which has used at least 1000 electrical and electronic equipment listed in Schedule I, at any point of time in the particular Financial Year and includes e-retailer] of electrical and electronic equipment listed in Schedule I shall ensure that e-waste generated by them shall be handed over only to the registered producer, refurbisher or recycler. 
  6. As per Regulation 9 of the new draft rules, every recycler must guarantee that: 
  7. facilities and recycling procedures adhere to the requirements or directives established in this regard from time to time by the Central Pollution Control Board; 
  8. fractions or materials that cannot be recycled at its facility are forwarded to the relevant registered recyclers; 
  9. Remainder produced from the recycling process is disposed of in a facility authorised for treatment, storage, and disposal; 
  10. Keep a record of the e-waste that is gathered, disassembled, recycled, and send it to a registered recycler on the portal and make all documents available for verification or audit as needed; 
  11. Annual and quarterly returns must be submitted in the prescribed format on the site by the end of the month following the quarter or year, as applicable, to which the return refers. 
  12. As per regulation 11 under chapter IV, a record of the sale, transfer, and storage of e-wastes must be kept by each manufacturer, producer, refurbisher, and recycler. These documents must be made available for examination and the e-waste can be stored for a maximum of one hundred eighty days. 
  13. According to the regulation 25, a Steering Committee is established to manage the overall implementation, monitoring, and oversight of the rules. It also provides for the composition of the committee. 
  14. Moreover, the new draft rules have also expanded the definition of “e-waste,” more precisely defining the penalties for breaking the rules, established a fund to compensate the environment based on the “polluter pays” theory and acknowledged the informal waste workers. 

Way Forward: 

  1. A plan to recycle 60% of the e-waste produced in 2022–2023 seems overly optimistic at a time when the technical viability and commercial viability of several recycling technologies and methodologies for e-waste components are being worked on in India. 
  2. Recycling targets would likely be far harder for regulators to monitor and enforce than collection targets, according to experience from European countries. This is significant because technological complexity and expense could differ depending on the component. 
  3. Utilize new technology to develop service business models, improved product tracking, and manufacturer or retailer take-back programmes in order to capture the worldwide value of materials in e-waste and establish global circular value chains. 


The Rules should not be seen as just other law to deal with wastes and safeguarding the environment since it can prove to be a development opportunity for a significant proportion of the population. Consumers, in addition to stakeholders and regulators, should be aware of the significance of managing e-waste. They should take on the responsibility of properly disposing of their electronic garbage. More than a million people will have improved employment prospects as a result of streamlining the informal sector, which will also provide better management practises for handling e-waste and contribute to environmental protection. It goes without saying that the e-waste rules have some shortcomings and require modification in some areas if they are to have any impact on the situation on the ground. Thus, adequate execution of the Rules that ensures sustainable production, environmental safety, and includes all parties involved in effective management of e-waste is urgently required.