Soon you may have to shell out some money if you want to protect your health from the hazards of mercury present in tube lights and CFLs and want them disposed in an environment-friendly way.
An Environment Ministry panel, set up to find ways for safe disposal and recycling of these lamps, has proposed the government levy additional tax on tubelights and CFLs to fund the collection, safe disposal and recycling of these lighting items. It has given a go-ahead to the manufacturers to pass on the burden to consumers.
Constituted at the behest of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Task Force comprising experts from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has submitted its recommendations.
The main recommendation is the creation of a corpus through additional taxes so that manufacturers and importers can initiate collection and recycling of these items, which is currently adding to the municipal solid waste and posing a threat to the environment.
“The recycling mechanism should be funded through a tax imposed on each CFL and TL manufactured here as well as imported. The ministries of Finance of and Commerce may devise a suitable mechanism for this,” the report says.
“We have spoken to all stakeholders in the industry — manufacturers, recyclers, consumers and other experts. The committee suggested the burden of the tax be shifted to the consumers, who would be quite willing to pay a little extra for environment-friendly disposal mechanism,” said a CPCB official.
Predictably, the Electric Lamp and Component Manufacturers’ Association has lapped up the report of the task force. “There are no free lunches,” said Sunil Sikka, vice-president of the forum.