On August 29, 2018, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) formally authorised Karo Sambhav as a registered Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) paving the way for responsible electronic waste management in the country.
Following the amendment to The Electronic Waste (Management) Rules 2016 earlier this year, it has been made mandatory for all PROs to register and receive authorization by the Central Pollution Control Board. This registration process is a positive step forward in defining the role of PROs in India’s e-waste sector and creating a level playing field for legitimate PROs. It will help Producers of electronic and electrical products identify legitimate partners to support them in meeting their Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) mandate under the Rules.
“The application process started in May and we received the authorisation on August 29,” said Pranshu Singhal, Founder & Director Karo Sambhav. “Registration of PROs will directly enable the implementation of the E-Waste Rules. We are excited that the CPCB is starting to take major steps to regulate the industry and create a level playing field for legitimate actors. The PRO Registration will not only amplify the impact of our work, but also provides validation to our engagements across the e-waste value chain,” he said.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoEFCC) issued The Electronic Waste (Management) Rules 2016 that made producers of electrical and electronic products responsible for the end of life management of their products. The rules are based on the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility, a concept of waste management that first emerged in Europe. These rules that gave clear collection targets for producers was a significant step in India’s efforts to responsibly manage its electronic waste. These rules were further amended in March this year to include the registration of PROs that could take on the mandate of producers.
Karo Sambhav and IFC are collaborating to implement a nation-wide India E-Waste Program that aims to set up a responsible and sustainable e-waste management ecosystem in India. The three key components of the IFC’s E-Waste Program are (1) Supporting the establishment of a responsible Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) model which will serve as a long-term solution to the industry’s challenges of collecting e-waste in a cost-effective and responsible manner, (2) increasing awareness and (3) developing a Toolkit which will serve as a knowledge and data resource to support stakeholders in their implementation efforts.
“Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs) have an important role to play in India’s efforts to regulate and build a sustainable e-waste management ecosystem. Karo Sambhav, as one of the first PROs to be issued a registration by the Central Pollution Control Board, will serve as a benchmark for current and new PROs in the sector. The PRO registration process allows electrical and electronics producers to identify legitimate players offering strong EPR solutions to partner with. As IFC’s partner in the India E-waste program, we look forward to continue working with Karo Sambhav to build a successful PRO solution for e-waste management in India,” said Sarina Bolla, Program Manager, India E-waste Program, IFC.
Karo Sambhav’s footprint extends to over 68 cities in all 29 States and 3 Union territories in India. Since September 2017, it has successfully kept 2450 Metric Tons of e-waste away from informal dismantling and recycling, thereby reducing the impacts on human health and the environment.
Through its Extended Producer Responsibility Programmes, Karo Sambhav has engaged with over 3800 waste aggregators and collectors and supported them in transitioning towards formal take-back channels. Through the awareness programmes of its producer members, Karo Sambhav has also been able to reach more than 1250 schools, over 1,50,000 students, 2500 teachers and 5,00,000 individuals with the objective of shaping consumer behaviour towards e-waste.