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E-Waste Recycling Systems and Sound Circulative Economies in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Systems in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan

  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Political Science


The main purpose of this paper is to review and compare E-waste management systems operating in East Asian countries in efforts to identify future challenges facing the circulative economies in the region. The first topic of this paper is cost sharing (physical and financial) as applied to the various stakeholders, including producers, consumers, local governments and recyclers, in the E-waste management systems. The second topic is the environmental and economical impacts of these E-waste management systems on recycling technology, trans-boundary movement of E-wastes and Design for Environment (DfE). The final topic is the possibility for international cooperation in the region in terms of E-waste management systems. The authors’ preliminary result is that the E-waste management systems operating in these East Asian countries have contributed to extended producer responsibility and DfE to some extent, but many challenges remain in their improvement through proper cost sharing among the stakeholders. It is also clear that the cross-border transfer of E-wastes cannot be resolved by one nation alone, and thus international cooperation will be indispensable in finding a suitable solution.

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