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New Delhi, June 6: E-Waste is becoming a severe environmental hazard. 44 million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) is generated worldwide with only 12% being recycled. Taking this into consideration, the Delegation of the European Union and 10 Embassies of the European Union Member States organized an e-waste collection drive in collaboration with Karo Sambhav to mark the World Environment Day. This initiative was part of the green pledge that the EU Embassies had adopted last year, wherein they had committed to greening of their embassies and to eliminate use of single-use plastic products. This drive was also used to create awareness about the importance and necessity of e-waste among the general public.
The implementation partner, Karo Sambhav is a tech-enabled, environmentally beneficial and socially responsible e-waste Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) for responsible management of e-waste.
The drive kicked off at 11.15 am today from the Netherlands Embassy, Chanakyapuri and concluded at 4.30 pm at the Spanish Embassy, Aurangzeb Road, passing by the embassies of Slovakia, Finland, France, Belgium, EU Delegation, Slovenia, British High Commission, Denmark, and Italy on the way. The e-waste thus collected was handed over to Karo Sambhav for responsible recycling. The collected material included such as items as discarded computers, printers, phones and other office IT equipment. The material was handed over the team by the respective Ambassador or deputy head of mission in the presence of staff members as the truck arrived at the gate of each embassy.
India is the 4th largest producer of e-waste and yet responsibly recycles less than 2% of its e-waste. Most of its e-waste currently gets processed in the informal sectors causing several environmental and health hazards. While leaching causes ground water pollution and acidification of soil, workers in such set-ups are prone to kidney failures, lung cancer, brain damage, respiratory problems etc.
The EU missions took a “green pledge” on the occasion of the World Environment Day on 05 June 2018 under which they committed to a series of environmental sustainability measures including curbing the use of single use plastics, reducing electricity and water consumption and responsible management of organic and material waste.
The EU delegation will also be organizing a workshop tomorrow to discuss the progress made in the implementation of the Green Pledge over the last year and to enlarge the circle by asking their project partners and service providers in India to sign the green pledge. A workshop on the theme “Lead the Green Change” is being organized at the India Habitat Centre on 07 June from 9.30 am – 2.00 pm to discuss the green pledge progress and welcome new partners.
Know more about Green Pledge: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/india/45866/green-pledge-eu-missions-delhi_en