Producer Responsibility Organizations and Dismantlers come together at the inaugural meet of Indian Federation of Reverse Logistics (IFRL)
New Delhi : Indian Federation of Reverse Logistics was introduced at a media interaction event during its inauguration at India International Centre, Delhi. The body is a federation of companies active in the reverse logistics domain that seek to develop a green supply chain across the country to facilitate collection and channelization of e-waste and contribute towards creating a circular economy.
It is widely acknowledged that reverse logistics plays a pivotal role in developing a green supply chain to enable collection and channelization of electronic scrap from the informal sector and end- consumers for environment friendly disposal; importantly through the integration of the informal sector (backed by the hub-and-spoke model), extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework, and facilitating innovation.
PROs and Dismantlers came together and appreciated the formation of the Indian Federation of Reverse Logistics. PROs perform a very important role in assisting producers engage and carry out several functions, including achieving collection targets; establishing collection mechanism such as door to door collection, implementing buy back/take back, establishing collection centres/points [(including setting up of collection godowns or operating through warehouses as per the guidelines issued by Central Pollution Control Board ('CPCB')]; making logistics arrangements, and door-to-door scrap E-Waste collection; ensuring traceability of the e-waste collected, channelization and disposal of processed waste through dismantlers and recyclers ensuring environmentally management of waste; conducting awareness programmes among consumers/bulk consumers/producers and other stakeholders for responsible collection and channelization of waste; and providing extended producer responsibility plan as legally required. Dismantlers on the other hand contribute largely towards sorting, segregating and dismantling scrap – technically acting as pre-processors before scrap E-Waste reach recyclers for end-to-end recycling and extraction of precious earth metals.
The Indian Federation of Reverse Logistics, in the presence of different stakeholders, deliberated upon the present scenario and future of PROs, Waste Management Agencies and Dismantlers with respect to existing value chains and operational practices through the lens of the newly drafted E-waste Management Rules 2022 by Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change – Government of India.
It was observed that the newly proposed guidelines under the E-waste management rules waives off the responsibilities or definitions of PROs, Collection Centres, Dismantlers, and Consumer amongst others. Further, the new guidelines seem to consider only the recyclers. This disregards the efforts and investments by organizations engaged in developing a network of structured and formal collection and dismantling centres.
The creation of a circular economy depends on establishing a collection and disposal mechanism that includes the various participants in the value chain, including those in the informal sector, PROs and dismantlers. PROs can continue acting as catalysts in the E-Waste value chain, and help make the developed collection mechanism far more robust and integrated reverse value chain, besides supporting the SPCBs & CPCB in E-waste data inventorization, capacity building exercises aimed at promoting collections from residential colonies, dealers, retailers, bulk consumers, households, office clusters, and the informal sector.
Dr. Vijai Singhal, Retd. CEE, RPCB graced the occasion and said, “The rapidly rising quantities of e- waste pose significant threat to human health and the environment, and necessitate urgent steps towards a circular economy. Building a circular economy depends on several aspects, key being decreased depletion, consumption and disposal of natural resources, efficient use of existing resources, inclusion of various stakeholders to create green value chain, and ensuring that activities sought to drive the circular economy turn into major drivers of job creation and economic growth. With respect to the domain of electronics, these aspects could help create new opportunities in processing, repairing and remanufacturing secondary materials, the services sector, and the circular economy as a whole.”
Ms. Nisha Banth, Spokesperson, Indian Federation of Reverse Logistics, said, “A combination of effective regulations and responsible behaviour by society could go a long way in curbing the e-waste menace and helping create a circular economy. Regulations form the basis for the development of a circular economy, laying down clear guidelines for responsibilities and courses of action in the domain.
The set of regulatory norms seek to define and regulate societal and business relations with respect to the circular economy. With natural resources steadily depleting and current consumption patterns questioned, laws are being increasingly sought to create a circular economic model aiding sustainable economic development. While several nations across the globe are engaged in developing a circular economy through legal confirmation, India is also looking to modernize legislation to encourage a circular economy.
However, it is important to consider the efforts and investments by organizations such as PROs engaged in developing a network of structured and formal collection and dismantling centres, and regulations must seek to support such bodies so that these may help producer organizations fulfil their responsibilities and facilitate the e-waste management process.”
About IFRL: The Indian Federation of Reverse Logistics has been instituted as an apex body working for the development, growth and sustenance of the facilitators towards the Circular Economy, founded by a group of lawyers and professionals keen to make a positive difference towards the environment and climate change.
Headquartered at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, IFRL offers a wide range of services and programs to its members, the facilitators including Producer Responsibility Organization, Waste Management Agencies, Dismantling Service Providers, Collection & Transportation Service Providers, the State bodies and the Government.
The initiatives include developing a common platform through seminars, webinars, conferences, training sessions, workshops; public policy representation and advocacy in Waste Management, Sustainability and Circular Economy amongst other; support services in domestic & international marketing; usage of technology towards better traceability; industry related publications; event led networking opportunities; solutions towards smart cities, Industry 4.0, Start-up ecosystem and many other industry-directed services.