Edited by Michikazu Kojima and Etsuyo Michida
Chapter 11: Toward efficient resource utilization in the Asian region
One of the characteristics of economic integration in Asia is the fragmentation of various production processes. Not only the final products, but also raw materials and intermediate goods are traded among the Asian countries. Recyclable waste generated from producers and consumers is also traded internationally. Asia has imported various types of recyclable wastes from other regions because currently it is the production center of the world, utilizing recyclable waste as resources (see Chapter 2). It has been pointed out that various factors such as low labor cost, externalization of environmental protection cost, and trade regulation on recyclable waste have affected the flow of recyclable waste and location of the recycling industry (see Chapters 3 and 4 of this book, and Kojima (ed.) 2005). In addition, the import duty reduction system has impacted trade flows of recyclable waste (Chapter 8), and the import protection of steel products has led to the import of waste ships (Chapter 10). In the Asian region, there are many informal recyclers that do not have environmentally sound technology. They often have price competitiveness because of their lower pollution control cost compared with formal recyclers with environmentally sound technology.