Nearly 49 million metric tons of electronic waste, or the equivalent of seven kilos for every person on the planet, was produced in 2012, with the figure expected to grow 33 percent by 2017, the United Nations University said in a report.
The study was prepared as part of the Solving the E-waste Problem, or StEP, initiative, which is hosted by the United Nations University and includes U.N. agencies, corporations, governments and non-governmental organizations.
The report features the first global map identifying electronic waste and shows the amount of e-waste produced by each country.
China produced 11.1 million metric tons of electrical and electronic equipment, or EEE, in 2012, while the United States produced 10 million metric tons of EEE, taking the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the list.
The United States, however, was No. 1 in electronic waste, generating 9.4 million metric tons, while China was No. 2 in e-waste, with 7.3 million metric tons.
Brazil and Mexico were the top producers of EEE in Latin America last year, the report said.
Brazil produced 2 million metric tons of EEE in 2012 and generated 1.4 million metric tons of e-waste, or seven kilos per inhabitant.
Mexico, for its part, produced 1.5 million metric tons of electrical and electronic equipment, and it generated 1 million metric tons of e-waste, or nine kilos per inhabitant.
Spain produced 1.1 million metric tons of EEE and generated 832 metric tons of e-waste, or 18 kilos per inhabitant.
Electronic waste is expected to soar to 65.4 million metric tons by 2017, or an amount equivalent to the weight of 200 Empire State Buildings or 11 Great Pyramids of Giza, the report said. EFE