E-Waste Recycling Systems and Sound Circulative Economies in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Systems in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan

[tweetmeme http://www.URL.com%5D Soo-cheol Lee (Meijo University ) and Sung-in Na (Hiroshima Shudo University) have published a very good new paper on „E-Waste Recycling Systems and Sound Circulative Economies in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Systems in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan.“  The main purpose of this paper is to review and compare E-waste management systems operating in East Asian countries in efforts to identify future challenges facing the circulative economies in the region. The first topic of this paper is cost sharing (physical and financial) as applied to the various stakeholders, including producers, consumers, local governments and recyclers, in the E-waste management systems. The second topic is the environmental and economical impacts of these E-waste management systems on recycling technology, trans-boundary movement of E-wastes and Design for Environment (DfE). The final topic is the possibility for international cooperation in the region in terms of E-waste management systems. The authors’ preliminary result is that the E-waste management systems operating in these East Asian countries have contributed to extended producer responsibility and DfE to some extent, but many challenges remain in their improvement through proper cost sharing among the stakeholders. It is also clear that the cross-border transfer of E-wastes cannot be resolved by one nation alone, and thus international cooperation will be indispensable in finding a suitable solution.

The introduction to this paper:

This study addresses issues relating to the recycling of home electric and electronic appliances, a typical mainstay commodity of modern affluent societies. Here we define either waste or used home electric and electronic appliances as E-waste. By analyzing the recycling systems of E-waste in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan, in terms of the background to their adoption as well as their similarities and differences, we aim to evaluate the relevant policies and identify the future challenges facing the promotion of circulative economies in East Asia. Specifically, we will analyze the roles (separation, collection and recycling) and responsibilities (financial and physical) of each nation’s E-waste disposal and recycling systems according to stakeholder (producer, consumer, central and local government) in order to clarify each system’s characteristics and the extent of applying the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

The East Asia region, particularly Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan, is a major consumer of home electric and electronic appliances, while also comprising a considerable global share of production and export. In addition, the increasing volume of trade in E-wastes in East Asian nations and the accompanying environmental impact have attracted attention in recent years. The disposal of E-wastes is therefore not limited to a single nation in East Asia, but instead needs to be addressed as a regional issue. Some important studies analyzed East Asian nation’s E-waste recycling systems with a focus on the responsibilities (physical and financial) of stakeholders. In light of these previous studies, we have conducted our analysis with an emphasis on the content and stakeholder-based cost burden of recent new systems, the incentives to each stakeholder in terms of E-waste collection and recycling, and the possibility of cooperation on relevant policies among East Asian nations.

In the next section, we will consider the background of the reason that the EPR is applied to the policy design of E-waste recycling, not only from the perspective of domestic factors, but also from factors such as recycled resource trade in East Asia. In Section 3, we will outline and characterize policies relating to E-waste recycling in East Asia as well as undertake a comparative analysis. In Section 4, based on the results of the comparative analysis, we will outline the challenges facing the promotion of circulative economies and the potential for cooperation to find solutions to these challenges in this region.

Read the full paper here in PDF format.

Citation: Lee, S.-C.;Na, S.-I. E-Waste Recycling Systems and Sound Circulative Economies in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Systems in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan. Sustainability 2010, 2, 1632-1644

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Professor Paul, Green Vision. Green Vision said: E-Waste Recycling Systems and Sound Circulative Economies in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Systems in Japan… http://bit.ly/cg8n3e […]



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