Edited by Michikazu Kojima and Etsuyo Michida
Chapter 2: International trade of recyclables and policies to support their sustainable use in Asia
The international trade of recyclables has surged in the Asian region. Recyclable resources such as metal scraps, waste paper, and waste plastics, which were underutilized in the countries of generation, are now being placed into the goods production cycle, being processed and recycled, as important resources in other countries. Given that trade in recyclable resources has increased in recent decades, the cross-border utilization of these resources has become an important issue and is expected to become even more important in the future considering the constraints on the supply of natural resources. It is in our interests then to examine the situation and characteristics of the trade of recyclables in Asia and to learn the drivers of the trade. The increase in the trade flow of recyclables and in the utilization of the recyclable resources across borders has not been achieved without side effects: imported recyclables and the illegal import of hazardous waste to developing countries have caused environmental problems in some cases.
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