Waste Not, Recycle Lots: India’s 2022 E-Waste Regulations

Posted On - 9 January, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva


In the fast-paced world of technology, where gadgets become obsolete faster than we can say “upgrade,” the issue of electronic waste, or e-waste, has become a pressing concern. Imagine the smartphones, laptops, and gizmos we once cherished finding a not-so-pleasant retirement in landfills, posing environmental challenges. India’s New E-Waste Management Rules of 2022[1] were introduced, a fresh set of guidelines aimed at bringing order to the chaos. These rules, effective from April 1, 2023, replace the earlier 2016 Rules[2] and mark a significant step towards regulating and streamlining the e-waste ecosystem in the country.

Forget the bureaucratic jargon; let’s dive into a human-friendly exploration of how these rules are reshaping our relationship with technology’s leftovers and fostering a greener, cleaner tomorrow.

Scope Of The New Regulation

These rules have substantially broadened the scope of entities regulated, applying exclusively to manufacturers, producers, refurbishers, dismantlers, and recyclers actively involved in the life cycle of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) listed in Schedule I[3]. This list now spans over 100 types of items, including tablets, GPS devices, modems, electronic storage devices, and even solar photovoltaic modules, among others.

Registration Requirements And Compliance

  • Under the 2022 Rules, mandatory registration on the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) online portal[4] is a prerequisite for all entities falling under the regulated categories.
  • It provides clarity on the governance policy, emphasizing that no entity can operate without registration or engage in business with an unregistered counterpart.

Annual And Quarterly Returns

The online portal becomes the go-to platform for these returns, demanding transparency, and adherence to deadlines. This practice, where entities must file reports on or before the end of the month succeeding the quarter or year, ensures a systematic and real-time record of e-waste activities.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

For manufacturers and producers, the responsibility goes beyond mere production; it extends to the holistic life cycle of their products:

  • The new rules mandate the collection of e-waste generated during the manufacture of EEE, coupled with the imperative of ensuring its proper recycling or disposal.
  • The obligations escalate for producers who, apart from their primary manufacturing duties, are entrusted with creating awareness through various media channels. Moreover, they are tasked with implementing EPR targets, a commitment that finds its quantitative expression in Schedule III or IV.

The calculation of EPR becomes a crucial step, where the quantity eligible for the generation of the certificate is determined by a formula QEPR = Qp x Cf involving the quantity of the end-product and a conversion factor. In simpler terms, QEPR represents the quantity eligible for certificate generation, where Qp stands for the quantity of the end-product, and Cf is the conversion factor – the inputs required for one unit of output. This mathematics ensures that producers are actively contributing to the reduction of e-waste.

To understand the real impact of EPR, let’s take an example:

  • Consider a producer with an EPR obligation of 100 tonnes in the year 2023-2024.
  • The producer purchases a recycling certificate of 60 tonnes and a refurbishing certificate of 40 tonnes.
  • If the concerned item has an extended life of five years due to refurbishing, 60 tonnes of the EPR obligation is met in the initial year.
  • The remaining 40 tonnes, equivalent to 75%, is carried over and added to the Extended Producer Responsibility for the year 2028-2029 for that specific item.

This ingenious approach not only ensures compliance but also incentivizes sustainable practices, pushing producers to actively engage in refurbishing and recycling initiatives.

Management Of Solar Photovoltaic Modules, Panels, And Cells

In a forward-looking move, the 2022 Rules specifically address the obligations of entities involved in the manufacturing or production of solar photovoltaic modules, panels, or cells.

This addition acknowledges the evolving landscape of electronic equipment and underlines the importance of regulating technologies contributing to the e-waste stream.

Refurbishing Certificates And Deferred Liability

It also introduced a pioneering concept – refurbishing certificates and deferred liability. This innovative approach empowers refurbishers to breathe new life into EEE items, each refurbishing certificate symbolizing a reprieve from waste. By purchasing these certificates online, producers can defer their EPR liability, aligning with the added lifespan of the refurbished product.

Notably, the rules prescribe that only 75% of the deferred quantity contributes to the producer’s EPR target for recycling, marking a strategic move to encourage and incentivize the refurbishment sector.

Widened Scope Of Penalty

Unlike the previous rules, the 2022 version introduces environmental compensation in addition to penalties outlined in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The scope of compensation has also been expanded to include aid and abetment of any violation, ensuring a more robust deterrent against non-compliance.


The E-Waste Management Rules of 2022 mark a pivotal moment in India’s commitment to sustainable waste management. With an expanded scope, clear registration requirements, and a refined approach to EPR, the regulations aim to create a more accountable and environmentally conscious landscape. The emphasis on solar technologies and the widening of penalties underscores the government’s dedication to addressing emerging challenges in the e-waste domain.

While the rules present a comprehensive framework, concerns linger around the role of the informal sector and the potential burden on authorized recyclers. Striking a balance between formal and informal recycling channels is crucial for effective and sustainable e-waste management in India.


What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)?

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a regulatory framework that holds producers accountable for the entire life cycle of their products, including manufacturing, recycling, and final disposal. In the context of e-waste, it requires producers to manage the end-of-life disposal of their electronic products.

u003cstrongu003eHow do the Rules address solar technologies in e-waste management?u003c/strongu003e

It specifically outlines obligations for entities manufacturing or producing solar photovoltaic modules, panels, or cells. This inclusion reflects the evolving landscape of electronic equipment and emphasizes regulatory oversight over emerging technologies.

u003cstrongu003eHow are penalties different in the 2022 Rules compared to the previous version?u003c/strongu003e

It introduces environmental compensation in addition to penalties outlined in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The scope of compensation has also been expanded to include aid and abetment of any violation, providing a more comprehensive deterrent against non-compliance.

[1] https://www.mppcb.mp.gov.in/proc/E-Waste-Management-Rules-2022-English.pdf.

[2] https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1881761

[3] https://www.mppcb.mp.gov.in/proc/E-Waste-Management-Rules-2022-English.pdf.

[4] https://cpcb.nic.in/index.php.