Recycling Processes and Plastic in Electronic Waste Is an Emerging Problem for India: Implications for Future Prospect

  • K Ronnie Rex
  • Revathy Rajakumaran
  • Omkar Gaonkar
  • Elvis Dsouza
  • Paromita ChakrabortyEmail author
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 57)


A steady rise in demand of electronic equipment is prevalent in both developed and developing nations. The high consumption rate of electronic goods has given rise to a new stream of waste known as electronic waste or e-waste. The informal sector is dominant and critically active in developing countries like India to recover precious metals from e-waste. The illegal trade of electronic waste products also adds up to a good proportion of e-waste. Recent studies from India reported that the crude processes involved in the informal e-waste recycling sector is a major cause for the emission of persistent toxicants into the environment. Some of those studies mentioned that the open burning of e-waste in dumpsites and landfills have further contributed to the release of persistent organic pollutants in the environement. Burning of plastics present in e-waste (e-plastics) is another serious problem. This chapter presents a review of both formal and informal e-waste recycling and how informal sector is proving to be of a major environmental concern in India. Further, we have discussed the sustainable recycling methods for plastic and metal recovery and the future prospects of e-waste recycling sector.


E-waste Persistent organic pollutants Informal recycling sector Metal recovery 



This work was supported by the grant from the Environmental Health Cell, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India (File No.Q-14011/43/2013-CPW(EHC).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • K Ronnie Rex
    • 1
    • 2
  • Revathy Rajakumaran
    • 3
  • Omkar Gaonkar
    • 4
    • 2
  • Elvis Dsouza
    • 5
  • Paromita Chakraborty
    • 1
    • 4
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringSRM Institute of Science and TechnologyKattankulathur, Kancheepuram DistrictIndia
  2. 2.SRM Research InstituteSRM Institute of Science and TechnologyKattankulathur, Kancheepuram DistrictIndia
  3. 3.Environmental and Water Resource Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT MadrasChennaiIndia
  4. 4.Nuevo ChakraMumbaiIndia
  5. 5.EDPC Polymer IndustriesVasaiIndia

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