Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has announced an e-waste management program in India. Called the "Mi India Product Take-Back & Recycling Program," the initiative is aimed at recycling end-of-life electronic products and devices according to the new e-waste management regulations issued last year by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. As is evident from the name of the service, the company proposes to take back non-operational electronic products from consumers for recycling purposes, and in exchange, provide them with Rs. 100 ($1.50) discount coupons that may be redeemed at the company's online store on a minimum purchase of Rs. 1,000 ($15). According to an announcement on the company’s official forums, electronic devices like mobile phones, power banks, speakers, and headphones, irrespective of their brand, are all eligible for exchange as part of the new service.
One thing to note here is that the recycling program is strictly meant for devices that would have otherwise been thrown away, thereby adding to the growing e-waste problem around the world. Xiaomi will not be offering any repairs or replacements for the products that are being turned in. According to a statement released by the company, the new initiative was primarily launched in an effort to act "more responsibly" towards nature. Xiaomi also said that the e-waste management solution is currently being offered by TES-AMM India. In order to make use of the service, users will have to log into Xiaomi’s website and fill out an online form, after which representatives of TES-AMM will pick up e-waste from their homes within 15 days.
With concerns about the environment at an all-time high, an increasing number of corporations are doing everything in their power to present themselves as socially conscious and environment-friendly. It is certainly encouraging to see that Xiaomi is also stepping up its game in that regard, especially because electronic devices like computers, mobile phones, and televisions contain a whole host of chemicals that are known to be severely toxic to humans and animals. The list of potentially toxic substances often found in circuit boards of electronic devices include arsenic, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc. Left un-recycled, these harmful chemicals can enter the food chain, causing severe illnesses in humans and animals, which is just one of the reasons why recycling old electronics is an important practice.