HOME > BUSINESS > Toxic Mercury in Lights: NGO accuses MNCs of double standards

Toxic Mercury in Lights: NGO accuses MNCs of double standards

cfMany international lighting companies are displaying double standards by challenging India’s new mercury recycling rules, said environmental NGO Toxics Link.

The NGO said these companies are resisting India’s new e-waste rules while conforming to them in other countries.

¨However, the same companies for long have been fulfilling their commitments under the waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive of the European Union(EU), and are responsible for the end of life management of mercury bearing lamps in all the member states of the EU.

It is ironical that they refuse to abide by similar rules in India and have challenged the government’s notification by moving a petition in the Delhi High Court.¨

The revised E-waste rules have brought compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and other mercury containing lighting equipment under its ambit, by mandating that manufacturers have to take responsibility for the collection, transportation and disposal of fluorescent and other mercury-containing lamps under the EPR.

The rules have also set in place stringent provisions for violations. ¨By challenging the Rules, these companies have shown a blatant disregard for the laws of the land, besides making it amply clear that their responsibility to the environment is driven by a sense of geography rather than a sense of propriety,¨ said the NGO.

Even countries like Taiwan, Nigeria and many states in US and Canada have adopted the mandatory EPR for collection and recycling of mercury bearing lamps. Some countries like Australia, Hong Kong have adopted voluntary mechanism where the producers have played a key role for collection and recycling of these lamps.

“These companies are opposing the EPR principle in the new E-waste rules in India by challenging it in the court, which is in stark contrast to their actions in Europe. This exposes their double standards and reflects that these international companies have very little consideration for the adverse impacts of mercury on health of Indian citizens,” says Satish Sinha, Associate Director, Toxics Link.¨

The new E-waste Rules were notified in 2016 after sustained efforts of organisation’s like Toxics Link and others to include fluorescent and other mercury bearing lamps in the Rules.

The National Green Tribunal in its order dated July 7, 2015, had also instructed for the adoption of EPR for management of mercury- bearing lights.

¨This is a significant move towards meeting India’s global commitment to reduce adverse impacts of mercury emissions and protect human health and environment. Allowing these companies to flout the rules in India will be a step back.¨

Some of these companies have given information on their websites about them adhering to the WEEE directive.

“This clearly indicates that some of the petitioners, including Phillips, Osram, and General Electric have setup collection and recycling companies (Eco Lamp, EkoGaisma, Recolight) in various countries of Europe for environmentally sound management of mercury and mercury-bearing lamps,” said Piyush Mohapatra, Senior Programme Coordinator, Toxics Link.

“It is unfortunate that these international companies are opposing EPR in India. India is one of the biggest lighting markets of the world, perhaps larger than Europe. These companies have the experience of collecting and recycling mercury-bearing lights in an environmentally sound manner, which they have been doing in Europe for a long time. Instead of opposing the Rules, they should come forward and set an example by setting up systems in India. This will not only help protect the environment, but will also create green jobs in the country,” said Ravi Agarwal, Director, Toxics Link.

Toxics Link is an environmental research and advocacy organisation set up in 1996 by The Just Environment Charitable Trust.

Follow ULTRA.news
CNG price increased by 95 paise per kg in Delhi, Rs 1.26 in NCR Indraprastha Gas Ltd, which sells CNG to the National Capital Region, said it has raised the price of CNG by 95 paise per kg in Delhi and by Rs 1.26 per kg in the consumer price of CNG in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad.In Rewari, the price will be increased by Rs 1 per kg...
Infosys included in Dow Jones Sustainability Index Infosys said it has been inducted into the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) and is now part of two of the indices -- DJSI World and DJSI Emerging Markets.The indices measure the economic, environmental and social performance of companies and are based on the companie...
South India still water-stressed despite decent monsoon Despite a decent monsoon season, water levels at storage facilities in India continues to be below those of last year as well as the 10-year average.Of particular concern is the situation in South India, only 39% of the total capacity of the reservoirs has been filled so far...
Tata Power to set up electric vehicle charging stations in Mumbai Tata Power announced its plan to set up electric vehicle charging stations across Mumbai, and has set up the first one at its compound in Vikhroli."These chargers would facilitate electric car users to charge their cars (Battery Electric Vehicles such as the Mahindra e2O, Nis...
India achieves only 14% of rooftop solar power target Even as India more or less sticks to the target on adding large solar farms under its ambitious Solar Mission project, the other leg of the plan -- rooftop solar -- remains woefully behind target.Under the solar mission, India is supposed to have put in 5,000 megawatt of sola...
Surya introduces 32-watt full-size ceiling fan with BLDC technology Surya Roshni, one of India's oldest electrical brands, said it launched what could be India's most power efficient full-size ceiling fan -- the SS-32.The fan belongs to the new breed of brushless or BLDC fans that use an electronic circuit to convert alternating current into ...
India is the first country to reuse nuclear waste on large scale – Minister A rally to popularize nuclear power in Mumbai in 2014The Department of Atomic Energy today said that India is the first country in the world where the waste produced by nuclear power plants is being used for civilian applications.Jitendra Singh, the minister of state ove...
India to add 34.5 GW of hydroelectric capacity in 10 years A hydro-power plant in Himachal PradeshIndia will set a target of adding 34.5 GW of hydro-power generation capacity in the next ten years, according to power ministry sources."The target for the 13th plan has been set at 13.31 GW and that for the 14th plan will be 21.15 ...
Can’t allow NGOs to impede India’s growth: Center to NHRC Women from the Mahan region celebrate after cancellation of coal blocks.Greenpeace helped organize protests against open coal mining in the area.The home ministry has written back to the National Human Rights Commission that non-governmental organizations cannot be allowed t...
After missing twice, India comfortably meets power sector targets for 12th five-year plan After missing its targets by wide margins in the previous two five-year plans, India is all set to comfortably meet or exceed all its power sector targets for the 12th five-year plan that ends this month.Five-year plans, borrowed from the Soviet Union, are a legacy of Nehruvi...
India plans for eight-fold increase in nuclear power capacity to 45 GW File photo Koodankulam Nuclear PlantIndia is planning to increase its nuclear power generation capacity to 44,628 megawatt, about eight times the current capacity of 5,780 MW, the Prime Ministers' Office said today.At present, India has seven nuclear power plants. Howeve...
ABB sells 4.5 GW of wind power generators in India ABB, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of large electrical equipment, said it crossed the 4.5 GW milestone in terms of sales of wind power generators in India, and that the country is likely to add 4 GW of capacity this year.India has a target of having 60 Gigawatt of ...
India may miss national solar mission target for 2016-17 After having met its solar power installation target for last financial year with relative ease, India could end up missing its target for the year ending March 2017.India had around 6 GW of installed solar power generation capacity at the end of March 2016, and by this year,...
Ujala LED conversion scheme on target, street light program lags Government of India's Ujala LED light conversion program has got off to a good start, but the equivalent program for public lighting is lagging behind, going by data from the power ministry.The two programs were launched two years ago and are expected to be complete by 2019. ...
Pune, Western Maharashtra emerge as air pollution hotspots in India Air pollution, particularly levels of Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide, rose sharply in towns and cities in Western Maharashtra in 2016, according to data from the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme of India.Though 2016 saw a worsening of air quality across the coun...
Mumbai’s Viviana Mall installs India’s largest rooftop solar plant Viviana Mall in Mumbai has installed one of the largest single-site solar plants in India.The mall, located in Thane, has constructed a 900,000 volt-ampere rooftop solar power plant, which the company said was the biggest in India.900,000 volt-ampere refers to the peak ca...
Delhi Pollution Control Board extends shutdown of NTPC Badarpur plant till January NTPC Ltd said the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has given directions to keep all its units in Badarpur Thermal Power Station closed till January 31, 2017.The reason for the committees direction has not been disclosed by NTPC. However, the reason is likely to be concerns a...
L&T partners with Microsoft to set up “Green Campuses” L&T Technology Services, the information technology company of the L&T group, said it has partnered with Microsoft Corporation to offer a solution to lower energy bills and cost of maintenance.L&T Technology Service's Integrated Building Energy Management Syst...
Star rating for Indian mines by next month, satellite monitoring to check illegal activity The government of India will introduce a star rating for mines by next month and start monitoring mining activity using satellite, said mining secretary Balvinder Kumar said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today."If (mines)y don’t get 4 or 5 star rating they will get 2...
Tired of waiting, Govt gives more teeth to Clean Ganga Authority The government has approved the setting up of National Mission for Clean Ganga in the place of the existing National Ganga River Basin Authority to fast track rejuvenation projects.The authority will have powers to issue directions and also to exercise the powers under the En...
Wonderla Hyderabad waterpark installs 500 kW solar plant Wonderla amusement park had set up a solar plant with an installed capacity of 500kW at it´s newly opened unit in Hyderabad.The installed solar plant will generate 2000 units of power daily and it is expected cater to 25 percent of Wonderla's daily power requirement. The capa...
Ducon, Chinese co to market NOx catalyst for power plants in India Ducon Infratechnologies, a technology company providing solutions in the digital and infrastructure space, signed an agreement with Zhejiang Hailiang Ecological Materials of China to market and distribute DeNOx catalyst -- used to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from thermal ...
Rs 560 crore Ganga cleaning project launched at Kanpur Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti launched various projects worth Rs 560 crore under Namami Gange programme at Ganga Barrage in Kanpur today, said ministry of water resource.This includes Rs 63 crore interception an...
SC asks auto dealers to pay 1% environment cess on big diesel cars The Supreme Court has directed all manufacturers and dealers of Delhi & National Capital region selling diesel cars with engine capacity of 2000 cc and above, to pay 1% Environment Protection Charge.Supreme Court’s instructions came in the matter of M.C Mehta vs Union...
Burning waste could be leading to more lighting deaths — CSE A new study by Down To Earth magazine has unearthed clear links between air pollution and the incidence of deaths by lightning.According to an article in the magazine, published by the Center for Science and Environment or CSE, areas with high particulate pollution tend to ex...