Experts from the United States, Mexico and Canada are working to draw up a new law regulating the trade in discarded electronics, Commission for Environmental Cooperation, or CEC, representative Marco Heredia told Efe.
Environmental officials from the three countries and CEC representatives are meeting this week in Guadalajara, the capital of Mexico's Jalisco state, to discuss strategies for fighting trafficking in discarded electronic devices.
Many household appliances, such as refrigerators, computer monitors and cell phones, are illegally shipped from North America to countries in Asia and Africa that lack the facilities to process electronic waste, Heredia, who serves as a CEC project manager, said.
About 100 million televisions, computers and computer monitors are thrown away every year in the United States, while Mexico discards 7 million electronic units annually, or the equivalent of 160,000 tons of e-waste, while Canada generates nearly 80,000 tons of electronic waste, Heredia said.
"There is a big illegal and irregular traffic in discarded electronics. The Basel Convention and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) agreements establish that facilities receiving this waste must have adequate infrastructure and trained personnel, and that does not happen in the countries that receive" e-waste, Heredia said.