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GSMA Report Highlights Latin American Operators’ Contributions in Reducing Electronic Waste
|By Business Wire
|May 21, 2014 07:00 AM EDT
The GSMA today released the report “eWaste in Latin America”, a review
of the electronic waste (e-waste) initiatives by mobile operators in
Latin America, including Antel (Uruguay), Cable & Wireless (Panama),
Claro (Peru), Entel (Chile), Nextel (Mexico), Oi (Brazil), Telcel
(Mexico), Telecom Personal (Argentina), Telefónica Movistar (Ecuador and
Panama), Telefónica Vivo (Brazil), Tigo (El Salvador) and TIM (Brazil).
With insights gleaned from projects undertaken between 2009 and 2013,
the report underscores the critical role that mobile operators are
playing to improve e-waste management through a range of voluntary
projects across the region.
“Over the past two decades, the proliferation of technology and
widespread adoption of electronic devices, such as PCs, televisions,
radios, mobile phones, tablets and routers, has led to an unprecedented
amount of electronic waste, which is expected to reach 57.5 kilotonnes
globally by 2015,” said Sebastian Cabello, Director, GSMA Latin America.
“The GSMA is proud to see that mobile operators are already working to
address this issue in Latin America, a region that will produce nearly
nine per cent of the world’s e-waste by 2015.”
In Latin America, e-waste, also known as waste electrical and electronic
equipment (WEEE), will grow 17.5 per cent in the next years, from 4.22
kilotonnes in 2012 to 4.96 kilotonnes in 2015, according to United
Nations University (UNU). Given this growing issue, mobile operators in
the region are developing programmes, campaigns and projects to treat
e-waste, such as mobile phones, batteries and accessories, in compliance
with local and international environmental legislation. As part of their
environmental, sustainability and corporate social responsibility
programmes, GSMA member operators across Latin America have established
reverse logistics schemes for collecting, storing, categorising and
disposing electronic waste. At the same time, the regional operators are
investing in recycling plants and programmes, conducting reforestation
efforts and carrying out awareness campaigns, among other activities.
For example, in 2013, Telefónica Movistar Ecuador processed 112,321
obsolete mobile phones from their users. In Brazil, the mobile network
operator Oi is investing US $10 million in five recycling plants
belonging to Descarte Certo, and in 2012, Descarte Certo collected
43,782 mobile devices, batteries and chargers from Oi customers.
Further, Oi, Telefónica, TIM and Vivo collected 90.6 tonnes of WEEE in
Brazil during 2012. In Peru, Claro installed 203 collection sites across
the country and gathered more than 58,000 items between 2010 and 2013.
“The majority of the projects detailed in the report have been delivered
through the operators’ individual initiatives, largely because countries
in Latin America lack legal frameworks related specifically to e-waste,”
continued Cabello. “Only in recent years have some countries started to
discuss and apply new laws, such as in Brazil and Ecuador. It will be
critical for operators in the region to continue their voluntary efforts
around e-waste, but also to work closely with regulators to develop
transparent and coordinated models that take into account the
responsibility of various industry players. And of course, we must
continue to raise public awareness of the risks presented by e-waste and
the impact on the global environment.”
The full report and infographics are available at http://www.gsma.com/latinamerica/ewaste-latin-america-2014.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators
worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800
of the world’s mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile
ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies,
equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in
industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media,
transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events
such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com.
Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.
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