India wants to phase out tube lights by 2030

Published on Mar 23, 2022 11:39 PM IST

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.

India has sought time till 2030 to phase out linear fluorescent lamps or tube lights to reduce adverse effects of mercury (Hindustan Times)
India has sought time till 2030 to phase out linear fluorescent lamps or tube lights to reduce adverse effects of mercury (Hindustan Times)
ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi

India has sought time till 2030 to phase out linear fluorescent lamps or tube lights to reduce adverse effects of mercury, senior environment ministry officials said at the ongoing Minamata Convention in Bali. The convention is being held from March 21 to 25

According to the officials, though other countries including the EU, the US have pushed for a 2025 deadline for the phaseout of tube lights, India has responded to the proposal by stating that “Not completely agreed. However, since the consumption of this item is insignificant in the country, the complete phase-out will be done by 2030 but this aspect will be reviewed in 2025 for its early phasing out,” a note shared by officials said.

“As you can see from the official comment, India has not completely disagreed with the proposal. India did not obstruct discussions. We had sought the power ministry’s comments on the matter. They want to review it in 2025 and see if it can be phased out before 2030,” said a senior environment ministry official.

India has, however, agreed to phase out compact fluorescent lamps with an integrated ballast (CFL 2) that are less than or equal to 30 watts.

India has said, “We have no problem in accepting the 2024 deadline as CFL is almost phased out of the market”.

“Tube lights contain mercury, and downstream there is no proper collection system or disposal system for tube lights. Our fear is that tube lights are broken and disposed of in an unsafe manner. The e-waste rules have provisions for extended producer responsibility for tube lights. India may not be agreeing to the 2025 timeline because tube lights are far more affordable than LEDs,” said Piyush Mohapatra, senior programme coordinator, Toxics Link.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.

Major highlights of the Minamata Convention include a ban on new mercury mines, the phase-out of existing ones, the phase-out and phase-down of mercury use in several products and processes, control measures on emissions to air and releases to land and water, and the regulation of the informal sector of artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

“Africa risks becoming a dumping ground for these obsolete products,” said David Kapindula, an official at Zambia’s Environmental Management Agency who is attending the convention. “There’s absolutely no need to prolong the existence of these products on the market.”

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