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QUESTION NO - 3552 : Ban on use and manufacture of polychlorinated biphenyls

Ban on use and manufacture of polychlorinated biphenyls
Shri T. Rathinavel
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state :-
(a) whether India may have issued directives to ban the use and manufacture of polychlorinated biphenyls to reduce pollution, but the use of these toxic industrial chemicals in electronic equipment for decades has contaminated country’s soil and air quality;
(b) if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether according to a study, e-waste in Indian soil is twice the global average;
(d) whether disposing off the e-waste is a very cause of concern the country is facing; and
(e) if so, the steps taken by Government in this regard?
(a) & (b) The manufacturing and import of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) has been prohibited in the country in the year 2006. However, the final prohibition of the use of PCBs in any form comes in effect from 1st January, 2026. The Ministry has commissioned a program to phase out and replace PCBs from distribution transformers. Numerous scientific reports have documented environmental contamination level and have reported PCBs concentration in human and animal tissues as well as in water and sediments. However, no comprehensive Government report / assessment is available in this regard.
(c) & (d) The country’s economic growth with rise in per capita income and technological innovations coupled with high obsolescence rate of electronic and electrical equipment are leading to increase in the rate of generation of e-waste. Central Pollution Control Board had projected 8.0 lakh tonnes of e-waste generation in the year 2010. As per the United Nations University report, “The Global E-Waste Monitor 2014”, 17 lakh tonnes of e-waste generation was reported in the country in 2014. The report notes that the per capita generation of e-waste in 2014 in India was 1.3 kg/inhabitant, which was much less than that in the USA (22.1 kg/inhabitant), Japan (17.3 kg/inhabitant), China (4.4 kg/inhabitant) and many other countries. E-waste, if not handled or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner may be harmful.
(e) The Government has comprehensively revised e-waste (Management & handling) Rules, 2011, and notified E-Waste (Management) Rules in March, 2016 to ensure better management of e-waste in the country. The provisions of this Rule include extending producer’s responsibility, setting up of producer responsibility organizations and e-waste exchange to facilitate collection and recycling, assigning specific responsibility to bulk consumers of electronic products for safe disposal, providing for economic incentives for collection of electronic waste, and other measures to include dedicated responsibility of electronic and electrical product producers for collection and channelizing of electronic waste and simplification in permission process for dismantling and recycling facilities through single authorization based on Standard Operating Procedures (SoP) prescribed by Central Pollution Control Board. State Governments have been entrusted with the responsibility for earmarking industrial space for e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities and to undertake industrial skill development; and put in place measures for safety and health of workers engaged in dismantling and recycling facilities. Further, for resource recovery through recycling, the Ministry is coordinating with Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology, which has already undertaken few initiatives such as Research and Development programs for recycling technology for extraction of precious metals, plastics and glass, up-scaling innovative technologies, demonstrations through pilot plants and technology transfer.

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