Julia Perczel

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Manchester, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9864

Approve Date

May 1, 2019

Project Title

Perczel, Julia (Manchester, U. of) "(In)formalising the E-waste Economy: Environmental Legislation and E-Waste Work in Delhi"

In a move to address growing concerns about the impact of e-waste on the environment, India, the world’s fourth largest producer of e-waste (Baldé et al. 2017), passed new legislation in 2016 to make electronics producers take responsibility for their products. Due to the high value fetched by used devices and parts, electronics discards have given rise to vibrant reuse and resale markets, thus slowing down rates of obsolescence and prolonging the time it takes for toxic materials leak into water and soil. Yet, recent legislation by India aims to channel e-waste away from this vibrant informal sector and establish environmental standards for transport, storage, repair, dismantling and recycling. This research aims to understand the effects of this law, through examining the interactions of a Producers Responsibility Organisation, providing sustainable services, with various informal waste workers. This is a particularly pressing issue at a time of global overproduction of electronic goods, which gives rise to a sense of crisis. The proposed project sets out to study how this attempt at formalisation affects organisations, pricing mechanisms, and work practices in the e-waste economy. How does then e-waste mediate debates about the tension between environmental sustainability and growth?