Consumer attitudes and perceptions on electronic waste: An assessment

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

Department of Environmental Studies, GITAM University, Rushikonda, Visakhapatnam – 530 045, Andhra Pradesh, India

10.7508/pj.2015.01.004

Abstract

The electronics industry is one of fastest growing manufacturing industries in India. However, the increase in the sales of electronic goods and their rapid obsolescence has resulted in the large-scale generation of electronic waste, popularly known as e-waste. E-waste has become a matter of concern due to the presence of toxic and hazardous substances present in electronic goods which, if not properly managed, can have adverse effects on the environment and human health. In India, the e-waste market remains largely unorganized, with companies being neither registered nor authorized and typically operating on an informal basis. In many instances, e-waste is treated as municipal waste, because India does not have dedicated legislation for the management of e-waste. It is therefore necessary to review the public health risks and strategies in a bid to addressthis growing hazard. There is the strong need for adopting sustainability practices in order to tackle the growing threat of e-waste. In the present work, we attempt to identify the various sources and reasons for e-waste generation, in addition to understanding the perception of the public towards e-waste management. This study aims to induce an awareness of sustainability practices and sustainability issues in the management of E-waste, especially waste related to personal computers (PCs) and mobile phones. From the results of the study, we concluded that the majority (90%) of the public is ignorant about e-waste and its issues; hence, there is a strong requirement for spreading awareness about the growing hazard of E-waste.

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