Policy Considerations for Establishing an Environmentally Sound Regional Material Flow in East Asia

In Journal of Environment & Development
Volume (Issue): Mar2008, Vol. 17 Issue 1
Peer-reviewed Article

This article argues that waste management and recycling have become regional or international issues; they can no longer be considered only in a national context. The regionalization or internationalization of waste and recycling issues is caused in large part by the steady advance of economic integration, especially increasing trade and investment flows resulting from trade and investment liberalization. Just as economic integration has separated the location of consumption from the location of most efficient production, it has also separated the most efficient and effective location of recycling from the location of production and consumption. This makes it difficult to operate domestically oriented recycling schemes, as demonstrated by the case of Japan. Therefore, national policies, although still important, are now insufficient, and this article will propose policy recommendations to address this, including the development of national recycling systems and capacity linked to regional recycling zones, regionally coordinated extended producers responsibility, and regional certification schemes for recyclers and traders.


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