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India: Reviving repair culture to fight e-waste

June 24, 2024

More electronic waste is produced around the world each year. But recycling can't keep up. Now India hopes to revive its culture of repairing things, a deeply rooted tradition, to fight the problem.


India's Fight Against E-Waste: The Right to Repair

With over a billion mobile phones sold annually and five billion devices discarded, the world is facing an e-waste crisis. India, with its long tradition of repairing, is attempting to tackle this challenge.

Economic growth and digitalization have changed consumer behavior. Electronic devices are indispensable and often so cheap that they are replaced rather than repaired. This throwaway culture leads to massive amounts of e-waste, which is often not recycled.

In 2023, the Indian government launched a portal for the 'Right to Repair' to make information on how to repair devices and affordable spare parts accessible. So far, about 50 companies have joined.

And there is a market for it, one worth an estimated $20 billion annually in India. Start-ups are already setting up repair shops to capitalize on this trend.

Regulating the sector is challenging but can offer a win-win-win situation by reducing costs, creating jobs, and protecting the environment.

Aditi Rajagopal from the DW Environment team
Aditi Rajagopal Aditi Rajagopal is a DW environment reporter mainly working for Planet A on Youtube and tiktok.