International Trade in Recyclable and Hazardous Waste in Asia
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International Trade in Recyclable and Hazardous Waste in Asia

Edited by Michikazu Kojima and Etsuyo Michida

Little is known about the volume of international recycling in Asia, the problems caused and the struggle to properly manage the trade. This pathbreaking book addresses this gap in the literature, and provides a comprehensive overview of the international trade flow of recyclable waste in Asia and related issues.
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Chapter 4: Import of recyclables and environmental pollution in Vietnam: a new dilemma of development

Shozo Sakata


Rapid economic growth and industrialization started in the early 1990s in Vietnam, which coincided with the beginning of the expansion in the trade of recyclables (scrap and recyclable wastes) in global markets. Vietnam, therefore, has been able to utilize imported recyclables as resources for production from the early stage of its economic development. Vietnam’s subsequent trade liberalization and efforts at integrating into the global economy have widened the country’s access to the global recyclables markets. Imports of recyclables are indispensable for Vietnam’s industrial development as it helps to compensate for the scarcity of domestic natural resources and the high costs of imported natural resources. Without a doubt, Vietnam’s industrial development has benefitted from the increasing import of recyclables. However, increased imports of recyclables can damage the environment, as recyclables are discarded or used materials and goods. Such waste, which needs to be segregated and separated to become resources, is likely exported to Vietnam with the expectation that these processes will be done more cheaply than is possible in the exporting countries.

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