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Impact of East Asian Economic Integration over resource demands and 3R policy of end of life products

In the 3rd International Conference on Waste Management and Technology in Beijing 5-7 November

There is a risk that economic integration in East Asia and increasing trade of secondary materials driven by demands of materials in industrializing countries can undermine nation-based recycling systems (e.g. Hotta and Elder 2008). A trade model is used to analyse the impact of further economic integration on trade in secondary materials, especially focusing on resource demands of the manufacturing industry for durable goods in developing East Asia.

Under this research focus, IGES has conducted 3 years international collaborative research with research institutes from China, Viet Nam and Thailand.

Based on the results from the model analysis it is argued that waste and recycling issues that are conventionally thought of as primarily municipal and domestic in nature are rapidly becoming internationalized through economic integration. Thus, in order to realize a sound material-cycle society there is a strong need for East Asian countries to jointly develop appropriate policy responses.

In this context, the presentation discuss a strategic policy option based on how incentives for shifting the flow of materials from informal and improper recycling and waste management practices into proper and safe practices in East Asia can be created.