If you can’t collect, don’t sell so many: Delhi High Court on CFL bulbs

By: | Published: September 24, 2017 10:37 AM

The Delhi High Court has told a popular fluorescent lamp (CFL) manufacturer that if it cannot meet the e-waste collection targets set by the government, then it should correspondingly reduce the number of units it puts in the market.

Delhi High Court, CFL, E Waste, India, Philips, Pollution Control Board, Delhi, High Court on CFLDelhi High Court (PTI)

The Delhi High Court has told a popular fluorescent lamp (CFL) manufacturer that if it cannot meet the e-waste collection targets set by the government, then it should correspondingly reduce the number of units it puts in the market. “If you cannot collect that much (the numbers specified by the government), then do not put in that much (in the market),” Justice Vibhu Bakhru told the company, Philips Lighting India Ltd.

The court’s observation came while hearing Philips’ plea challenging the target fixed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for collection of e-waste, like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), by it in 2017-18. The company later withdrew its plea opposing the government’s July 12 order fixing the targets for collection. The July 12 order of the CPCB had fixed a target of 5330 tonnes or 39 million CFLs and mercury containing lamps, which would be discarded by consumers in 2017-18, for the company to collect and dispose of.

The company had claimed that the target was impossible to meet as the consumer would decide whether to discard the bulbs or CFLs. It had also said that the target fixed by the CPCB was 30 per cent of its production. It said it cannot compel a consumer to return the CFLs or other mercury bulbs to it before the product fails to perform and hence, the term ‘end of life’ as defined in the government’s e-waste management rules was vague. Under the rules, ‘end of life’ of product has been defined to mean “when the product is intended to be discarded by the consumer”, the company had said in its plea. The court, however, did not accept this argument either and said that it has not seen any advertisement informing consumers to deposit bulbs for collection. It said that the advertisements were only focussed on selling products.

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