E-Waste in LAC

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  • 1. Perspectives on Electronic Waste in Latin America and the Caribbean Keith E. Ripley Temas Actuales LLC www.temasactuales.com keith.ripley@verizon.net
  • 2. Big Picture – The Takeaway Points • LAC market & social shifts increasing e-waste generation potential • Unfortunately not yet known how much WEEE LAC has and is generating • Growing LAC government/public awareness & concern about e-waste • Current state of LAC waste management makes issue difficult to address • Evolving bans, trade regimes complicate search for solutions • LAC governments leaning increasingly toward EPR, take-back
  • 3. Market & Social Shifts Increasing E-waste Potential • Increasing mobile phone penetration • Increasing computer penetration • Entrance of electronics in more product areas • Traditionally long electronic product life in LAC shortening • Key format changes prompting tech exchanges • Efforts to close “digital divide” • Greater automation of systems in LAC traditionally labor-intensive • What impact energy efficiency drive?
  • 4. Market/Social Shifts - Increasing Mobile Phone Penetration • Cell penetration soaring because of difficulties/ costs in getting fixed lines • 300 m. mobile connections in LAC in 2006; 108.5 m. mobile lines in service in Brazil alone as of July 2007 • Penetration 60-70% regionally (depending on who you talk to), but as high as 90% in Colombia & Venezuela; • In many nations, now more cells than fixed lines • In Chile, 53% of teenagers 14-18 have a cell
  • 5. Market/Social Shifts - Increasing Computer Penetration • PC sales & use rising as PCs/laptops become more affordable, brand competition heats up and more governments chose to address “digital divide” & join information economy • In 2007 reported computer use has doubled in Brazil to 44% in 2007, as has ownership (from 17% to 34%); PC sales in Brazil expected to surpass 10 m. in 2007, more than TV sales • 29% ownership in Argentina, but projected 1.5 m. PC sales in Argentina in 2007 (12% portable) • Ownership in other: Ven. 43%; Chile 35%; Mex. 22% • Estimated that 25%+ of computers in Brazil & Mexico now are portable
  • 6. Market/Social Shifts - More Items Becoming Electronic, Digital • More computers in vehicles • More digital features in appliances • Digital cameras and video recording • DVDs replacing videotape • More LAC citizens using ATMs • Growth of supermarkets, hypermarkets in LAC bringing more digitization to retailing
  • 7. Market/Social Shifts – Length of Product Life Shrinking in LAC • Traditionally in LAC the electronics, appliances used longer than in North America and Europe because of cost, greater availability of cheap parts & repair • Recent studies (AC Nielsen, Latinpanel, etc.) show rapid drop in secondhand cell phone use • 77% of Chilean teens with cell phones have new (not secondhand) units
  • 8. Market/Social Shifts - Format Shifts Prompting E-wasting • Newer computer software requiring more memory, speed, resolution • shift away from disks, now from CD to DVD (will Blu-ray cause still another shift?) • Many cell phones exchanged as switch from TDMA to GSM • LAC opting for flat screen TVs in a big way (over 70% shipments Q2 2007) – what happens to old sets with CRTs?
  • 9. Market/Social Shifts - LAC Nations Worry About “Digital Divide” • Conscious choice of several governments to get more PC/laptops & internet connections in schools, households, small towns and rural areas • Therefore many accepting donations used PCs from abroad, likely increasing number of non-RoHS compliant units in LAC • What eventual waste impact of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiatives?
  • 10. Market/Social Shifts - Impact of Energy Efficiency Drives? • Many LAC nations, faced with tight energy supply and higher electricity generation costs, pushing to get mass changeover to newer, more efficient appliances • What happens to the old units, which usually have far more hazardous materials and ozone-depleting substances?
  • 11. How Much WEEE is There in LAC? • For most of LAC, we don’t know yet – most nations have not done serious diagnostic of WEEE situation. To remedy this, Basel Convention Regional Center in Buenos Aires putting together first stab at a regional WEEE inventory. • In Argentina alone, estimated in 2007will be1.3 m. printers, 9.5 m. computer units, 19.4 m. printer cartridges, 60,000 calculators, 28,000 photocopiers, 120,000 fax machines, 1,400 bank terminals & 2.4 m. kg. of parts, pieces & peripherals in disuse • GTZ estimates 130,000 EOL PCs need to be removed from Costa Rica’s landfills
  • 12. Growing Government Concern / Public Awareness • LAC media has latched onto WEEE story • Basel talks and work of Basel regional centers have raised government awareness • Stockholm (POPs) Convention, UNEP Hg assessment, local contamination incidents (particularly incidents involving artesanal mining of lead-acid batteries) have raised profile of heavy metals • NGO campaigns (ex: Greenpeace’s Greener Electronics reports) raised issue profile • StEP Initiative
  • 13. State of LAC Waste Management Makes It Difficult • Waste policy getting higher profile as gross and per capita waste generation rises • A dozen LAC nations still do not have a specific waste law or regulation • Open-air dumps still prevalent; even some of the landfills too close to waterways, aquifers • Most nations do not have secure landfills, or even secure cells within regular fills • Not all LAC has regular collection options, and in some places it is still done by donkey cart. WEEE often not collected by municipal services, and when they do… • Many nations do not have technical laboratory, personnel resources needed.
  • 14. State of LAC Waste Management Makes It Difficult - 2 • It’s becoming a socio-political imperative to include informal recyclers (catadores, pepenadores, etc.) in recycling programs • Few domestic hazardous waste facilities with proper environmental license, high standards • Fewer still are entities with experience in proper WEEE disassembly, such as Recycla & Degraf in Chile, Scrapex & Silkers in Argentina, ERI in Mexico. With metals prices at historic highs, why aren’t there more? • Most Caribbean islands have neither suitable facilities for WEEE nor individual scale to make it worth creating one. Some talk of creating a subregional processing center, but so far just talk • Incineration/co-processing small, emissions usually not well controlled, in many places not an option legally • Hence, many nascent LAC WEEE programs decide to export hazardous materials
  • 15. One Example of the Waste Infrastructure Problem: Brazil • The map is of Brazilian landfills authorized to take hazardous waste • Note all along coast; none in N & center (including near Manaus free zone electronics pole) • 50% of capacity to handle hazardous waste located within 250 km of São Paulo
  • 16. Yet trade not easy – confusing crazy quilt of rules • All but Grenada, Haiti, Suriname are Basel Convention contracting parties – Notice and consent system – Covers both waste intended for disposal and for recycling/materials recovering – Ban on trade with non-parties (such as US) – WEEE on both Annex VIII (presumed hazardous) and Annex IX (presumed non-hazardous) – Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative (MPPI) launched; special regime for “Partnership for Action on Computing Equipmentquot; (PACE) under consideration – Much still depends on national interpretation. • Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Uruguay ratified “Basel Ban” prohibiting waste imports from developed countries; other LAC nations considering
  • 17. Crazy Quilt - 2 • Central American countries have own convention banning hazardous waste trade. • OECD tacit consent system covers Mexico; presumably Argentina & Chile too if they join. Generally regards e-scrap as not hazardous (except possibly CRT glass) • Many LAC nations have constitutional provisions and/or laws against hazardous waste imports, some vs. hazardous exports too
  • 18. Who’s Doing What to Address E- waste? Industry Initiatives - Cells • Nokia claims full recycling coverage for its LAC markets • Recellular works with Motorola in Central America, Vivo in Brazil, Movilnet in Venezuela • Movistar launches take-back in Argentina, Chile, Colombia • Motorola’s Ecomoto program moves into LAC in 2007 • Under threat of regulatory action, Colombian mobile phone sector (Nokia, Movistar, Avantel, Comcel, Tigo, CCIT, ASOCEL) signs convenio with Environment Ministry (MAVDT) to take back cells, cell batteries & peripherals
  • 19. Who’s Doing What? Industry - Computers • Dell launched the Consumer Free Recycling Program in Brazil and Mexico in Dec. 2006. The program offers free recycling to consumers of Dell branded equipment. In 2008 it will be extended to other LAC countries, with Argentina, Chile and Colombia initially targeted. Dell will add “asset recovery” service (for companies, covering both Dell and non-Dell equipment) for Brazil and Mexico in first half of 2008, followed by others (starting with Argentina, Chile and Colombia). • IBM takes back servers in LAC – 18 metric tons (mT) plastic + 186 mT metal recovered in Brazil in 2007 • Where are other OEMs?
  • 20. Who’s Doing What? Industry - Other • HP “Planet Partners” takes back printer cartridges in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru • Lexmark takes back cartridges in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico. • Epson takes back/recycles printers in Argentina. Where are other printer companies? • Several cell phone manufacturers (Motorola, Nokia, Ericcson, etc.) operate modest take-back programs for their batteries in larger LAC nations (mostly in select large cities). Amexpilas has collection agreement with Environment Ministry, but mostly focused on Mexico City
  • 21. Who’s Doing What? Other Nongovernmental Actors Groups accepting computers for refurbishing, putting to reuse in schools, homes, community centers, etc. Usually small-scale, localized operations. – Argentina: Fundación Equidad; Va de Vuelta – Brazil: Comitê para Democratização da Informática (CDI) [5,000 machines in 2006 alone] – Chile: Chilenter; CDI-Chile – Colombia: Computadores para Educar – Costa Rica: ACEPSA – Guatemala: Tecnologia Para Educar – Venezuela: Via Tecnológia
  • 22. Existing Rules - WEEE in General Waste Law Chile’s hazardous waste regulation classifies CRTs, some batteries, electronic/electrical assembly (montaje) as hazardous waste. Colombia’s 2005 hazardous waste regulation imposes producer responsibility obligations for some WEEE, including CRT glass, certain electronic/electrical assemblies. Mexico’s General Waste Law requires industry to submit “environmental management plan and system” for certain batteries & “technological waste” (includes IT, electronics). Some Mexican states impose similar requirements in their state general waste laws or in waste chapters of their environment framework laws.
  • 23. Existing Rules - WEEE in General Waste Law - 2 Several Brazilian states have waste laws requiring post-consumer producer responsibility for batteries, “technological waste” or “electro- electronic products”. A few also ban these from landfills, require prior regulator approval for thermal destruction. Industry seems to have convinced São Paulo not to follow suit for e-waste in the implementing decree for its new waste law - for now
  • 24. Existing Rules – Specialized Legislation • Argentina & Brazil have special national rules on batteries & piles. • Majority of Brazilian states now have their own battery laws, some of which also affect electronics from which battery is not easily removed. • Several Brazilian states have laws on recycling computer disks.
  • 25. What’s in the Legislative and Regulatory Works Costa Rica’s Environment Ministry has prepared “special waste” regulation whose main target is WEEE. Includes recovery targets. Draft national waste law sent by Lula to Brazil’s Congress does not explicitly mention WEEE, but that may not stay that way in Congressional bargaining and in any case, wiggle room was left to add it in implementing rules. CONAMA rule on batteries under revision. Specific WEEE bills proposed in both national congress & some state assemblies. Colombia’s new battery EPR decree includes sealed lead-acid batteries & lead-acid back-up power batteries. MAVDT hinting at special regimes too for other batteries. Signed cooperation project with Swiss government to develop WEEE regime.
  • 26. What’s in the Legislative and Regulatory Works - 2 Venezuela’s Environment Ministry has declared it will prepare WEEE regulation. Chile studying WEEE policy options. Combined WEEE/RoHS bill under debate in Argentina’s national congress would cover computer & IT equipment, consumer electronics, appliances, medical devices, video games, monitor/control instruments, vending machines. Would ban in new equipment Pb, Hg, Cd, PBB, PDBE & hexavalent chromium. City of Buenos Aires looking at how to handle WEEE under its “Zero Waste” law; experimented June-July 2007 with bring-back program at shopping malls. Several Mexican states considering waste bills or proposed new waste chapters to their framework environment law that would cover “special wastes”
  • 27. What’s in the Legislative and Regulatory Works - 3 2006 MERCOSUR Policy on Management of Special Universal Wastes includes cell phones, batteries/piles, electro-electronics. Member states (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay – and Venezuela if accession agreement ratified by other 4) are to take implementing measures to ensure post-consumer producer responsibility, waste management plans, product composition rules. MERCOSUR now in follow-up talks on possible common specific rules.
  • 28. What’s in the Legislative and Regulatory Works - 4 • Central American Integration System (SICA) has developed model waste law based on Mexico’s, discussing possible common hazardous, special (including WEEE?) waste rules for Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
  • 29. About Temas Actuales LLC Temas was founded as a specialized consultancy to 1. track and assess legislative, regulatory and policy developments in Latin America and the Caribbean – whether at the national, sub-regional or regional level. 2. help clients adopt politically and socially aware policies with regard to such developments. 3. promote dialogue and cooperation between the private and public sectors in the region, with a view to forging alliances to tackle common policy concerns. For more information, visit www.temasactuales.com To regularly follow environment, health and consumer policy developments in LAC, read The Temas Blog at www.temasactuales.com/temasblog
  • 30. Thank You!