National Non-Ferrous Metals Recycling Policy

News: The Ministry of Mines has issued a National non-ferrous metal scrap recycling framework, 2020 in a bid to cut down the scrap imports. It also seeks to use a life cycle management approach for better efficiency in the mineral value chain process.

Objectives:

  • To work towards economic wealth creation, job creation and increased contribution to GDP through metal recycling.
  • To promote a formal and well-organized recycling ecosystem by adopting energy efficient processes.
  • To minimize the effect of end-of-life products on landfills and environmental pollution by promoting an environmentally sound recycling system.
  • To evolve a responsive ecosystem by involving all stakeholders.

Details:

  • The framework envisages setting up of a central Metal Recycling Authority to facilitate recycling of metals.
  • The government will work towards establishing standards for Quality of scrap used for recycling.
  • A mechanism for registration of segregators, dismantlers, recyclers, collection centers etc. will be developed to promote recycling to an organized sector
  • It is proposed to set up Urban Mines, envisaged as a location to collect and hold large quantities of similar materials.
  • An Online market platform/ exchange platform for recycled/secondary metal will be developed.
  • Recyclers may explore the possibility of entering into collection contracts with industrial and commercial establishments.

Roles/ Responsibilities of Stakeholders:

  • Responsibility of Manufacturer: To ensure that any Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) guidelines/Regulations be strictly adhered to.
  • Designing products that are easier to recycle and reuse in an efficient and environmentally sound manner.
  • Role of Public: Public should responsibly dispose of scrap at designated scrap collection centers for their effective and environmentally sound processing.
  • Role of Government: MoEF&CC to streamline the regulatory requirements, eliminating multiple clearances wherever feasible, for the recycling units.
  • Role of Recycling Authority: Developing technical, safety and environmental norms and SOPs for handling and processing of scraps in consultation with MoEFCC, CPCB, BIS, etc.

Challenges:

  • A major challenge is its heavy dependence on import of metal scrap.
  • Lack of an organized / systematic scrap recovery mechanism.
  • Lack of sustained implementation of existing regulations on waste collection and recycling.
  • Lack of standardization of recycled products adversely affecting market adoption.
  • Lack of specific skill sets on responsible methods and technologies.

What are Non-Ferrous Metals?

  • The Non-ferrous metals can be classified in broad categories as
  1. Base metals (e.g., aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, tin)
  2. Precious metals (e.g., silver, gold, palladium, other platinum group metals)
  3. Minor metals including refractory metals (e.g., tungsten, molybdenum, tantalum, niobium, chromium) and
  4. Specialty metals (e.g., cobalt, germanium, indium, tellurium, antimony, and gallium).
  • Aluminium is the second most used metal in the world after Iron.
  • Copper is the third most important base metal by value.
  • Zinc is the fourth most widely used metal across the globe.