According to Allied Market Research, the size of the e-waste management market is worth $143,870 million by 2028. The number saw a definite increase in the post-pandemic.
The benefits of the market are:-
- The economic impact of the market experienced positive growth.
- Work home policies led to an increase the mobile computing devices resulting in the recycling of the used stationary desktop and devices.
But what is E-waste? And why it is a problem?
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), electronic waste is defined as any device powered by electrical energy that has reached the end of its working life. So we’re not just talking about mobiles.
“With offices and enterprises adopting mandatory work from home policies,there has been greater adoption of laptops and mobile devices, thereby lowering the usage of office desktops and computers.
This scenario has resulted in creating a recycling option for this equipment, which in turn is set to favor the market growth during the forecast period.
Mandatory work from home policies adopted by both private and public organizations has boosted the adoption of mobile devices.
For instance, as per the analysis by AMR, around 60 % of European businesses are planning to allow employees to work from home in the future. This scenario is estimated to create a lower adoption rate for enterprise IT equipment and accessories.
For instance, in 2020, around 29% of office desktop PCs were abandoned and over 23% of PCs are not expected to be required over the next year.”
The types of WEEE (Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment) according to a European Union (EU) directive are:-
- Fridges, freezers, and other cooling equipment.
- Computers and telecommunications equipment.
- Consumer electronic devices and solar panels.
- TVs, monitors, and screens.
- LED bulbs.
- Vending machines.
As per MarketWatch, in 2018, every 15 months, consumers replaced their mobiles. The UN report states world generated 48.5 million tons of electronic waste in 2018 leading to the need for e-recycling of e-waste. A CAGR of 14.3% in 2028 is expected for the e-waste market.
If proper steps are not taken, the UN estimates it might reach 120 million tons of electronic scrap by 2050.
The problems are:-
- Worse recycling techniques.
- Lack of awareness of the issues.
- The discarded items are cadmium, lead, lead oxide, antimony, nickel, and mercury and are highly toxic to the nearby environment.
Thibaud de Larauze, CEO of Back Market, states “The reuse of technological devices has become the only option, in the face of an inefficient recycling system, to reduce the levels of electronic waste”
Peter Bakker, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), “Global e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream.”
One of the SDG’s targets is also reduction of the e-waste, SDG 12 “ensures sustainable consumption and production patterns”. It is referred to as discarded devices to achieve ecological and acceptable life cycle management to reduce the poisons released in the environment without any responsibility.
But why recycle e-waste?
As per the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), correct recycling generates $62.5 billion in opportunities across the globe and new job opportunities.
According to a report published in 2019 by the magazine Environmental Science & Technology,” it is 13 times more costly to extract minerals from natural deposits than it is to recover them from technological waste for the manufacture of new devices.”
The global e-waste market is dominated by the major household appliance segments. One of the best policies, Japan is following to handle e-Waste,
Under Home Appliances Recycling Law, consumers of refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines have to forward them to retailers to send them back to companies for recycling e-waste.
The top reasons to recycle:-
- The life span of electronic devices to decrease to drive the growth of the e-waste management market.
- Recycling is essential due to the scarcity of precious metals.
- High rate of obsolescence adding e-waste to grow in tremendous volume.
The key market players in e-waste management recycling are:-
- Capital Environment Holdings Ltd.
- ENIRO-HUB Holdings Ltd.
- MRI E-Cycle solutions
- SEMBCORP Environmental Management
- TETRONICS Technologies Ltd.
- UMICORE AG&Co. KG
- WM Intellectual Property Holdings, L.L.C.
E-waste in India
According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the e-waste growth rate is higher than that of other waste. In 2018-2019, waste was 7.71 lakh tonnes and in 2019-2020, 10.14 lakh tonnes. An increase of 31%
In 2016, e-Waste management rules got notified and it has been amended from time to time. 21, items have been classified as E-waste in the electrical and electronic equipment.
The Indian enforcement agencies to handle E-waste:-
- Ramky E-waste Recycling Facility, Maheswaram Andhra Pradesh
- Earth Sense Recycle Pvt.Ltd., Maheshwaram Mandal, Andhra Pradesh
- Ash Recyclers, Hoskote, Banalore
- New Port Computer Services (India)Private Limited, Bommasandra, Bangalore
- EWaRDD & Co., Bommanahalli, Bangalore
- E-R3 Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Peenya, Bangalore (Only Printer Cartridge)
- Ash Recyclers, Thimmiah Road, Bangalore
- E-Parisara Pvt. Ltd., Nelamangala, Bangalore
- Surface Chem Finishers, Bangalore
- Jhagadia Copper Ltd., Jhagadia, Gujarat (Shredded PCBs/Mother Board only)
- ECO Recycling Limited, Thane, Maharashtra
- Earth Sense Recycle Pvt. Ltd., Thane, Maharashtra
- Hi-Tech Recycling India (P)Ltd., Mulshi, Pune, Maharashtra
- Earth Sense Recycle Pvt. Ltd., Manesar, Gurgaon, Haryana
- Greenscape eco-management Pvt. Ltd., Alwar, Rajasthan
- Trishyiraya Recycling India Pvt. Ltd., Tambaram, Chennai
- TES AMM Private Limited, Sriperumpudur, Tamil Nadu
- Global E-waste Management and Services (GEMS), Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
- Victory Recovery & Recycle Technologies India Pvt.Ltd., Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu (ICs, PCBs, Solder Dross (Pb bearing Waste) and PCBs assemblies)
- Ultrust Solutions (India)Pvt.Ltd., Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu
- INAA Enterprises, Sriperumpudur, Chennai
- TIC Group India Pvt. Ltd., Noida U.P.
- Attero Recycling Pvt. Ltd., Haridwar, Uttrakhand
A major step by European Commission has restricted the import of electronic goods, manufactured using hazardous substances (RoHS) such as lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl, polybrominated diphenyl ethers exceeding a certain level.
In my opinion, the lifestyle change and the impact of the pandemic changed the way we use to categorize waste. Handling e-waste open door to a new venture and innovative concepts to resell it or recycle it for a new product. In the end, finding the solution to combat waste present you with a unique idea anybody could have thought of.
The e-waste management market is huge but how far will it be a successful venture as well as steps to combat the toxic waste need to be seen. At present major companies like LG with their E-waste program can channel out the waste from your doorstep rather than you throwing it in the junkyard.
If it can be tied up with some good offers in exchange, it might help the users or the customers to be more responsible with their actions.