New law expected to improve disposal of electronic waste

national September 12, 2014 01:00

By WASU VIPOOSANAPAT
THE NATION

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STATE AGENCIES and business operators were hopeful that the new law to manage electronic waste, which would be implemented early next year, would bring about better disposal of such hazardous waste in Thailand.



Pollution Control Department (PCD) deputy director-general Sunee Piyapanpong commented during a seminar on the waste appliances draft law yesterday that the draft legislation would be submitted for the Cabinet’s consideration this year, hence it should be implemented by early 2015. The draft law developed from the “extended producer responsibility” concept that allowed goods producers to take responsibility for the goods throughout the products’ entire life chain, including the recycling or disposal.
Sunee said Thailand needs the law enforcement to deal with waste problems. 
“In the past, we didn’t have an appropriate programme on waste management. Many communities, especially those in the Northeast, arranged inappropriate separation and disposing of of electrical |appliances and electronic gadgets,” Sunee added.
The enforcement requires entrepreneurs to register and submit a waste disposal annual report so the agency can follow up the company’s performance on waste management.
The penalty includes a Bt100,000 fine for not registering or a Bt200,000 fine for not following the waste management plan.
 
Beneficial to consumers
A draft bill committee member and Chulalongkorn University environmental research institute researcher, Sujitra Wassanadamrongdee, said this law would benefit consumers so they know where waste would be disposed. 
“It’s high time this law is finally implemented as there’s a growing number of electronic devices every year,” she said.
Sujitra said the law would hopefully lead to good practices among manufacturers who would be responsible for the electronics products throughout their entire life span, especially the recycling after consumers had returned them.
Several product manufacturers, who asked not to be named, said they agreed with the draft law but were concerned about recycling factories, as a part of their duty to forward the waste. 
Some recycling factories didn’t yet meet the standard of waste disposal, as their technology was not yet fully developed, so the government should focus on this matter, too, they said.
According to the PCD’s survey in 2012, electronic waste accounts for 300,000-400,0000 tonnes per year.
Another report by the Industrial Works Department said that 20.88 million electrical and electro-|nic devices were disposed of last year. 
They included 9.14 million landline telephones, 2.43 million television sets, 3.3 million portable audio and video players, 1.99 million personal computers, 1.5 million fax machines, 710,000 air-conditioners and 872,000 refrigerators.