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8) E-waste is a looming crisis for humanity and calls for immediate action. Discuss.(250 words)

Topic Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

8) E-waste is a looming crisis for humanity and calls for immediate action. Discuss.(250 words)



Why this question

The UN has recently released a report highlighting the huge problem of e-waste across the world. In this context it is important to discuss the problem in detail.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the problem of e-waste generation and disposal across the world. We have to highlight the magnitude and extent of the problem as well as highlight the deficiencies in the present management and regulation.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent UN report on e-waste. E.g It notes that the waste stream has already reached 48.5 million tonnes (MT) in 2018 and the figure is expected to double if nothing changes. Moreover, only 20 percent of global e-waste is recycled.


  1. Discuss in detail about the problem of e-waste. E.g
  • E-waste comprises not just electronic items, but also all electrical equipment that involves anything with a plug, electric cord or battery.
  • It may represent only 2 percent of the solid waste stream, yet it can represent 70 per cent of the hazardous waste that ends up in landfills.
  • One-half of all e-waste is personal devices such as computers, screens, smart phones, tablets and TVS, and the rest is larger household appliances, as well as heating and cooling equipment.
  • by 2021, the annual total volume is expected to surpass 52 MT, considering the fact that the number of devices connected to the internet is going to be between 25-50 billion by 2020, which is nearly triple the number of people on the planet today.
  • By 2050, the volume of e-waste in the worst-case scenario, could top 120 MT annually etc.
  1. Discuss what has been/ should be done to handle the problem. E.g
  • E-waste export, though, is regulated under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the regulatory environment is complex and fragmented.
  • As many as 67 countries have legislation in place, including India, to deal with the e-waste they generate which involves the ‘extended producer responsibility’ (EPR) aspect.
  • India notified the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, on October 1, 2016, which made EPR mandatory.
  • Also, there is an acute lack of awareness among people as they simply don’t know that there exist collection centres that collect items for recycling. The law will fail to serve the purpose unless these changes are made on the ground etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.