Mobile User’s Perspective towards E waste – A case study Of Pune City

Ms. Viraja Bhat, Dr. Y. B. Patil


The vertical growth in demand and consumption of electronics products by Indian consumers irrespective of the age, gender, income or any other economic parameters has led tremendous quantum of obsolete electronic products which makes their way to a new type waste electronics waste (e-waste, WEEE). The remarkable growth in the telecom sector according to the TRAI statistics states that that the mobile subscriber base has grown by a factor of over a hundred and thirty, from 5 million subscribers in 2001 to over 929 million subscribers as of May 2012 in India. The substantial jump the volume of mobile users has resulted in the generation of more End Of Life(EOL) products, mobile cell phones are part of the newly generated type of E-waste. Amongst the Indian states, Maharashtra has 96.7 % of teledensity and is the largest generator of E-waste. Pune, the knowledge capital of Maharashtra, termed as the fastest growing IT city and „Oxford of the East* is ranked as 8th in the top 10 cities of India in terms of E-waste generation. E-waste management is a global issue now and it*s management has become a major challenge due to the presence of precious and toxic metals. There are many stakeholders involved in this issue whose roles, responsibilities are addressed at both national and local level by framing policies. Taking the cognizance of E-waste management issue, the Government of India passed a draft bill in 2008 and in 2011 introduced E-waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2011 which has been brought effectively into implementation from 2

In this paper an attempt is made to study and understand the behaviour of 10 different brands of mobile users of Pune City with special reference to aspects such as the awareness about E-waste, E-waste Policy, ExtendedProducer Responsibility, Mobile manufacturer recycling policy, E-waste disposal behaviour and effects of E- waste.

The study is a primary investigation based on the data collected through a survey based onconvenient sampling methodwith a sample size of 500. Out of the total sample size, 185 responses were received for the proposed work. This study reveals that82% of the respondents haveE-waste awareness, 78% believe that mobile handsets are contributors in e-waste, 16% are aware of the Government of India‟s E-waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2011, 23% are aware of Extended Producer Responsibility and out of that only 10% know the collection centres of End Of Lifemobiles of their brand, 6% are aware of E-waste management of Pune city, 75% are aware of e-waste toxicity whereas 48% are aware of precious metal presence and 70% feel that improper disposal if e-waste is a threat to the health and environment. The statistics gives a broad picture that consumer awareness about e-waste is very good but when it comes to the mobile handset disposal they are not aware of Extended Producer Responsibility, recycling/collection centres inPune city and face problem in carrying out their responsibility of a responsible consumer.

nd May 2012. The effective policyimplementation depends on the consumer awareness with the other stakeholder*s responsibilities which are mandatory.

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