A meagre 1.5 per cent of the total e-waste generated in India is recycled through an institutional process, a study by industry body Assocham said today. The top three Asian countries with the highest e-waste generation in absolute quantities are China (6 million tonnes), Japan (2.2 million tonnes) and India (1.7 million tonnes), it said. The global quantity of e-waste is expected to touch 49.8 million tonnes by 2018 from the current level of 47.8 million tonnes, it added. Various health and environmental issues are involved in the informal recycling activities. E-waste contains various toxic substances such as mercury and lead.
About 80 per cent of e-waste workers in India suffer from respiratory ailments and “children are usually among the most exposed to toxic fumes on a daily- basis”, the study noted. It suggested the government to rework on laws for waste management and a separate department in urban local bodies with a view to deal with the situation.