Material recycling without hazardous substances: Interplay of two policy streams and impacts on industry

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Introduction: Closure of the material loops has been a continuous aspiration of policymakers in various parts of the world over the past few decades. For instance, Germany introduced its Circular Economy and Waste law in 1994, and the Basic Law for the Promotion of Circular Society came into force in Japan in 2000. In Sweden, Parliament adopted the Ecocyle Bill in May 1993, which laid down the direction towards an ecocycle society with closed material circuits. Despite the strong focus of environmental policy discourse on climate change in the first half of the 2000s, the significance of resource efficiency and closure of material loops has been re-recognized also in the EU policy arena, as manifested in the development of the EU Circular Economy package in the 2010s. Closure of material loops requires, among other things, enhanced use of recycled materials, which in turn necessitates the quality assurance of such materials. The EU Circular Economy action plan from 2015 highlights the enhanced use of recycled materials as secondary raw materials as one of its key elements. It further emphasizes that a crucial condition for the further use of recycled materials is to secure the quality of recycled materials and explicitly recognizes the importance of paying due care to hazardous substances. Neither promotion of recycling nor reduction of the use of hazardous substances are new issues in environmental interventions in many countries and regions. For instance, in the EU, the European Commission addressed: prevention and recovery in its communication as early as of 1972. Laws governing dangerous substances, such as Council Directive 67/548/EEC, have come into existence since the late 1960s. Over the last few decades, a number of laws governing recycling as part of: management in general, as well as laws governing specific: streams such as packaging, cars, electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), and batteries have been introduced and further revised/replaced. In recent years, following the global economic crisis, and fluctuating availability of various strategic materials, recycling has been highlighted not only as part of environmental policy but also as a means to reduce dependency on virgin materials and to address social goals such as employment, productivity and social cohesion.


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Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Annan naturresursteknik
Titel på värdpublikationPreventing Environmental Damage from Products
Undertitel på gästpublikationAn Analysis of the Policy and Regulatory Framework in Europe
FörlagCambridge University Press
Antal sidor23
ISBN (elektroniskt)9781108500128
ISBN (tryckt)9781108422444
StatusPublished - 2018
Peer review utfördJa