Waste Management and the Green Economy
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Waste Management and the Green Economy

Law and Policy

Edited by Katharina Kummer Peiry, Andreas R. Ziegler and Jorun Baumgartner

Can waste become a profitable business rather than a costly problem, creating green business opportunities and green jobs while protecting the environment? Might this reduce illegal trade and improper recycling of hazardous wastes by making the legitimate alternatives more attractive? Addressing these questions, this book examines environmentally sound waste management as a driver in the transition to a green economy, and discusses how this transition is challenged by technical limitations, weak regulatory environments and lack of financial incentives.
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Chapter 2: Waste and international law: towards a resource-based approach?

Tarcísio Hardman Reis


The present chapter provides an overview of the treatment of wastes in international law through a study of international and regional treaties, as well as some of the existing jurisprudence, in order to identify trends and gaps related to the international regulation of waste. Within this purpose, the chapter identifies three approaches based on different topics under international law: the protection of human rights; the protection of the environment; and economic concerns associated with trade and investment activities. The chapter allows us to observe that each of the approaches described serves to respond to specific concerns (e.g. the nuisances created by waste, pollution from certain types of waste, and technical and legal definitions). The chapter concludes that an economic approach, mainly supported by soft law instruments (e.g. international standards and publications from international organizations) is currently being developed in order to respond to the growing importance of the economic dimension of waste.

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