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About 50% Indians keep old devices despite e-waste awareness

Good news is that about 80% of Indians are aware of e-waste but as many as 50% may be hoarding atleast two or more old and unused devices at home that need to be discarded, says a recent survey. The survey, conducted by e-waste management company Cerebra Green and MAIT , analysed responses sourced from 600 individuals across key metros including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune to gauge their awareness around e-waste and its management. The survey also studied their disposal habits and reasons behind it.

About 68% of those surveyed also stated that they do not view local waste collectors as an option to dispose e-waste. The belief is reflected by the waste collectors themselves as 72% of the participants stated that local waste collectors do not pick up e-waste in their area. This has forced 90% of the citizens to dispose e-waste by means of online exchanges or local electronics vendors.

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It was, however, encouraging to note was that 83% of those surveyed stated that they would be extremely willing to properly dispose their e-waste if assured of the environmentally-safe nature of the disposal process.

E-waste production in the country is predicted to touch a whopping 3 million tonnes by the end of 2018. While industries contribute to 70% of e-waste, Indian households contribute to almost 15% and the rest comes from discarded or end of life electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). India is one of the fastest growing consumers of EEE.

Key Highlights from the survey:

  • Around 80% of the participants were aware about e-waste.
  • 50% of participants were keeping at least 2 or more old, unused devices at home that need to be discarded, followed by around 30% keeping 3-4 and 20% keeping more than 5 unused devices.
  • Surprisingly, 50% of participants were keeping old, unused devises that were more than 5 years old, 28% keeping 3-4 years old and around 23% using 2 years or less old devises.
  • 72% of participants informed that the waste collectors in their area did not collect e-waste from them.
  • 68% of the participants informed that they had never disposed their e-waste by giving it to the local waste collector/aggregator whereas 32% of them informed that they did.
  • Around 82% of participants had never disposed their white goods like refrigerator, air conditioner, microwave etc. through a local waste collector with a meagre of just 18% gave a positive affirmation.
  • 47% participants were utilizing their e-waste in online exchange, at the time of a new purchase, 43% by giving it to the local electronic vendors and 10% at the brand outlets
  • 40% participants had been keeping more than 5-year-old refrigerator, 37% of them still occupying a 2 to 5 years old.
  • 82% showed enthusiasm in giving away their e-waste to e-waste collectors for free if they insured proper handling of the waste not causing environmental pollution.
  • 81% of the participants knew about the hazardous fractions in e-waste that needs special treatment for safe disposal. However, 19% were not aware about this fact.
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