The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has introduced an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime for key metals recovered from electronic waste (e-waste).
This initiative aims to incentivize and monitor the recycling of essential metals, ensuring they are used sustainably and efficiently. The key metals have been categorized into three groups: Precious Metals, Non-Ferrous Metals, and Ferrous Metals.
The key metals and their respective groups are as follows:
1. Precious Metals (Group 1)
- Gold (Au)
2. Non-Ferrous Metals (Group 2)
- Copper (Cu)
- Aluminum (Al)
3. Ferrous Metals (Group 3)
- Iron (including steel and galvanized iron)
Initially, during the first two years, the EPR certificates will be limited to the precious metal Gold (Au), Non-Ferrous Metals (Al and Cu), and Ferrous Metals (Fe, including steel and galvanized iron).
Moreover, the EPR regime will also encompass Rare Earth and other precious materials, which will be considered and incentivized accordingly.
To bridge the gap between the EPR obligation and the recycling capacity in the country, the CPCB has established a phased approach. For gold, in the first year of implementation (FY 23-24), the EPR obligation may be set at 20% of the total gold obligation, gradually increasing to 100% over five years.
For non-ferrous (Cu and Al) and ferrous metals (Fe), the EPR obligation will be set at 100% from the outset.
In a move to encourage and reward overachievement of EPR obligations, producers who fulfill their obligations in excess of the assigned target for a particular electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) item in the current financial year will have the option to reduce their EPR liability for gold or purchase a reduced quantity of non-ferrous metals in the following financial year.