Latin America produced 9 percent of all e-waste produced in the world last year, with Brazil and Mexico leading the pack, according to research.
Respectively, Brazil and Mexico produced 1,4 million and 1 million tons of electronic waste in 2014, followed by Argentina (292,000t), Colombia (252,000t), Venezuela (233,000t), Chile (176,000t) and Peru (147,000t), according to a paper by GSMA and the Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability at the United Nations University (UNU).
The report "E-waste in Latin America: Statistical Analysis and Recommendation of Public Policy" was produced to identify the key challenges related to electronic waste management in the region, specifically in relation to mobile phones.
According to the research, more than 40 million tons of electronic waste are generated all over the world in 2014. Mobile phones specifically represent about 0,5 percent of that global total - the same percentage generated in Latin America.
"Although mobile devices only contribute a smaller percentage of the total e-waste in Latin America, we encourage operators in the region to continue with their volunteer efforts to manage electronic waste, and to work closely with regulators in developing a legislative framework that takes into account the responsibility of the various players in the industry, " says GSMA direct for Latin America, Sebastian Cabello.
The report points out that the lack of specific legislation and appropriate recycling facilities are some of the main challenges faced by nations in the region.
"We hope that the report insights prompt a more detailed debate abut the development of public policies considering industry perspectives and other interested parties," says professor Jacob Rhyner, vice-dean at UNU.