In the wake of a resource depleting global economic system, the need for a new system with effective resource performance has become increasingly important. It is in such a situation that debates and conversations around circular economy have been increasingly emerging. Circular economy (CE) is an industrial system, which is an alternative to highly extractive and resource intensive linear economy principle of takemake-dispose and replaces the end-of-life concept with restoration and regeneration, aims at retaining value of resources, products and materials at their highest. Starting with the industrial revolution, the linear ‘take-make’ dispose pattern has been governing the world economies. Under this model, ccompanies harvest and extract materials, use them to manufacture a product, and sell the product to a consumer. The consumer then discards the product when it no longer serves its purpose. In fact, in terms of volume, around 65 billion tonnes of raw materials entered the economic system in 2010, and was expected to grow to about 82 billion tonnes by 2020.
India is the third largest consumers of raw materials produced globally and estimated to consume nearly 15 billion tonnes of material by 2030 and a little above 25 billion tonnes by 2050 including Electronic and Electrical Equipment (EEE). EEE waste is considered as one of the rich sources of secondary raw materials and can contribute towards resource security and environmental sustainability. In fact, India is the third most electronic waste (e-waste) generated country (with 3.2 million tonnes in 2019) in the world. However, only 10 per cent of its e-waste is collected for recycling. The collection and management of EEE waste remain a key challenge. This necessitates the shift to a more circular approach for the sector. Read More