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Regional development or resource preservation? A perspective from Japanese appliance exports

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Author Info

  • Fuse, Masaaki
  • Yamasue, Eiji
  • Reck, Barbara K.
  • Graedel, T.E.
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    Abstract

    This paper examines Japanese resource outflows in the form of exported used (and functional) products in 2007 by quantifying the unintentional metal exports for a number of specialty metals typically used in electronics and electrical equipment. We find that more than half of the indium and 20-30% of the barium, lead, antimony, strontium, zirconium, silver, gold, and tin in domestically discarded products were not recycled in Japan, but rather were exported in products to be used elsewhere. The destinations of these metals were mainly Asian countries with rudimentary recycling technology. These results demonstrate that although these metals could have been stockpiled domestically for future recovery and recycling, they were instead sent to countries where recycling of these scarce metals is unlikely. From a resource perspective, therefore, the free trade of used Japanese products compromises long-term domestic resource availability as it increases the quality of life in developing countries.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (February)
    Pages: 788-797

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:4:p:788-797

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Recycling Indium E-waste Trade statistics Used products;

    References

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    1. Trainer, F. E., 1982. "Potentially recoverable resources : How recoverable?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 41-52, March.
    2. K.C. Fung & LawrenceJ. Lau & Yanyan Xiong, 2006. "Adjusted Estimates Of United States-China Bilateral Trade Balances: An Update," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 299-314, October.
    3. Graedel, T. E. & Bertram, M. & Fuse, K. & Gordon, R. B. & Lifset, R. & Rechberger, H. & Spatari, S., 2002. "The contemporary European copper cycle: The characterization of technological copper cycles," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 9-26, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Honma, Satoshi, 2013. "Optimal policies for international recycling between developed and developing countries," MPRA Paper 43703, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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