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Greenpeace campaigns for tracking e-waste

September 17, 2008 15:00 IST

Greenpeace, which has been pursuing the issue of e-waste management in India, has mooted bar coding or holograms or any other means to track computers and other electronic goods during their lifecycle.

This is aimed at ensuring that the manufacturers take responsibility for their product right from the conception stage to the design, manufacture up to the end of its lifecycle when it is dismantled.

For this, Greenpeace wants the Centre to pass a law that makes it mandatory for manufacturers to track their product throughout its lifecycle and takes responsibility for the hazardous metals and other toxic substances in their products.

Of the 1,040 tonnes of e-waste produced in a day in India, only about 10 tonnes are treated everyday. The amount of e-waste produced everyday is expected to rise to 4,300 tonnes per day by 2012, according to Abhishek Pratap, Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner.

Such a tracking system could help track the products and know what the manufacturer of a certain machine will do about it at the end of its lifecycle.

This, according to Greenpeace, is necessary because most often computers and other gadgets during their dismantling land up in the hands of people with no knowledge whatsoever in handling them. They often burn the printed circuit boards to recover metals and this releases toxic fumes of dioxins and Gullet that are poisonous, and carcinogens.

Greenpeace has been calling for manufacturers to clean up their act and take back their products for their final disposal in an environment-friendly manner. Greenpeace has also been campaigning for all electronic good manufacturers to be RoHS complaint.

The RoHS directive stands for 'the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment' which has become mandatory in European Union and many other developed countries.

BS Reporter in Chennai, Bangalore
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