A circular economy in E-Waste for an Atmanirbhar Bharat

14th October 2020

On 14th October 2020 India is joining over 40 other countries in raising awareness on the issue of E-Waste and celebrating International E-Waste Day. Karo Sambhav, the first Producer Responsibility Organization from Asia to join WEEE Forum, is hosting the third International E-Waste Day in India. On Wednesday, 14th October’ 2020 Karo Sambhav and US India Business Council (USIBC) will jointly host a virtual conference on the theme “A circular economy in E-Waste for an Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India)”. Stakeholders from the e-waste space will deliberate on solutions for developing a responsible and sustainable e-waste management ecosystem that promotes a circular economy in the country.

E-Waste and the Need to go Circular

Globally, the quantum of e-waste generated annually is rising at an unprecedented rate. Various factors including increasing consumerism, rapid technological innovations, digitisation and growing population are some of the reasons that have led to this unparalleled growth. As per the Global E-Waste Monitor 2020, the world generated an astonishing 53.6 MT of e-waste in 2019, an increase of 21% from 2014. India stands as the 3rd largest e-waste generator in the world producing a total of 3.2 MT of e-waste in 2019.

While considerable progress has been made in managing E-Waste in India since the E-Waste (Management) Rules 2016 based on the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and with clear targets and roadmap came into effect in 2017, major gaps still remain. The formal recycling system remains constrained by the limited capacity available for processing the total e-waste generated and issues like setting up of recovery targets, standardisation in the waste value chain and creating a market for secondary materials still need to be addressed through the apt usage of policy and practice.

The intent behind the dialogue is to create a space for discussion on understanding the intricacies of the e-waste ecosystem and how circular economy plays into it. The goal is to transition to a circular economy where resources are mobilized and utilized efficiently, and sustainability is embodied in theory and practice. An interplay of innovative approaches, and extensive multi-stakeholder collaboration coupled with stringent value adding enforcement can enable this transition. This will lead to the strengthening of the sharing of information, knowledge, and expertise. The Covid 19 crisis has forced us to identify and adapt to a different way of life. We now need to chart our course for the ‘Decade of Action’ and commit ourselves to build a truly circular economy in India.

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Virtual Conference Details

Date: 14th October 2020 | Time: 6:15 pm to 9:30pm IST / 8:45 am to 12:00pm EST | Platform: Cisco Webex

Event theme and focus: ‘A circular economy in E-Waste for an Atmanirbhar Bharat’

Key Speakers

A circular economy in E-Waste for an Atmanirbhar Bharat


Time (IST/ EST) Description Speakers
06:15 PM – 06:40 PM IST
08:45 AM – 09:10 AM EST
Welcome Address
Pranshu Singhal,
Founder Karo Sambhav

Gary Litman, VP, Global Initiatives, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Imtiaz Mahtab, Deputy Chair B20 Energy, Sustainability and Climate Task Force

06:40 PM – 07:10 PM IST
09:10 AM – 09:40 AM EST
Event Keynote Shri Ashok Kheterpal, Chairman, Haryana Pollution Control Board

Dr. Ashok Kumar Ghosh, Chairman, Bihar Pollution Control Board

07:10 PM – 08:00 PM IST
09:40 AM – 10:30 AM EST
Session 1: Building a Circular Economy for a self-reliant IndiaSecond life for secondary materials in E-Waste

The Covid-19 crisis has forced us to identify and adapt to a different way of life. Now more than ever, India needs to chart a definite course that helps us build a truly circular economy in the ‘Decade of Action’. In the electronics waste space this means recycling and reutilizing the precious metals and rare earth metals that are embedded in electronics, in manufacturing. This panel will shed light on the barriers and opportunities to capture this value.

Can an eco-system be created in India for reutilising the various materials in e-waste? What kind of initiatives are required to develop the secondary material market? How can international collaborations and investments play a role in building a market?


Pascal Leroy, Director General, WEEE Forum

Dr. Michael Bucki, Counsellor, EU Delegation to India

Chris Newman, Environmental Scientist at US Environmental Protection Agency

Sameer Sharma, Senior Advisor, International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

Speaker & Moderator:

Pranshu Singhal, Founder, Karo Sambhav

08:00 PM – 09:00 PM IST
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM EST
Session 2: Creating an enabling environment and a level playing field for businesses to adopt circular practices in IndiaPolicy approaches and the role of global players

India has a clear mandate and policy for e-waste and Extended Producer Responsibility initiatives, but the overall ecosystem is still gearing up. This panel will seek to understand the advantages, and opportunities for developing national standards and next level of initiatives that need to be undertaken to continue the momentum.

How can national standards be established and adopted in the e-waste value chain? How can international cooperation help in creating a level playing field and value-added enforcement?


Shri Ashish Tiwari, Member Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board

Prem Ananth, Regulatory Manager, Dell Technologies

Ingrid Sinclair, Global President, Sims Lifecycle Services

Ali Fenn, President, ITRenew

Dr. Sandip Chatterjee, Director, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology

Speaker & Moderator:

Dr. Rachna Arora, European Union – Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU – REI), GIZ

09:00 PM – 09:30 PM IST
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Session 3: Moving towards Circular Economy in India: New approaches & International Best Practices

A circular economy in e-waste is dependent as much on changes within the e-waste sector as on changes across all sectors that have interlinkages with e-waste. This panel will bring to the fore various movements across the world and in India that will shape the future of the e-waste sector and establish circular practices across sectors

What emerging trends are likely to influence circular practices in e-waste? What are the various best practices that exist in other sectors and can potentially help establish circularity in the e-waste sector? What collaborations and tie-ups can help move towards circularity?


Sanjeevan Bajaj, Vice Chair, Executive Committee, Forum for Sustainability through Life Cycle Innovation

Isaac Emmanuel, Inclusive Business & Advocacy Head Covestro

Speaker & Moderator:

Gary Litman, VP, Global Initiatives, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

09:30 PM – 09:35 PM IST
12:00 PM – 12:05 PM EST
Closing Remarks Gary Litman, VP, Global Initiatives, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Sandeep Bhargava, Managing Partner Alliances, Karo Sambhav