A "Paradox" in China's Environmental Management: An Argument From a Comparative Study on Waste Recycling Policies Between China and Japan

2013 Chinese Business Review  
 China appears to have a "paradox" in its environmental management policies. For example, China's recycling policies appear paradoxical. With its rapidly expanding economy, China is now the world's largest emitter of urban waste. Under such a situation, China is aiming to build up a recycling economy by enacting a number of related laws. Despite the development of waste recycling regulations, however, the load on the environment by continuously increasing waste has not reduced in China so far.
more » ... What explains this seemingly paradoxical situation of waste recycling in China? It has been pointed out in the previous study on China's climate change policies that environment protection falls under the rubric of sustainable development in China. The question here is whether the same story can be applied to areas other than climate change in China's environmental management. This paper examines it in the area of its waste recycling policy. This paper conducts an evaluation of waste recycling regulations in China by comparing it with the experience of Japan, China's next-door advanced country. It concludes that the waste recycling regulations in China do not primarily aim at reducing the environmental load by reducing the amount of waste but rather for the main purpose of recycling and reusing resources effectively for the sake of economic development.
doi:10.17265/1537-1506/2013.06.006 fatcat:hrxnvrhlv5athghi22lxrqktxy