Tasaki T., Terazono A., Moriguchi Y. (2005) Effective assessment of Japanese recycling law for electrical home appliances: Four years after the full enforcement of the law. 2005 IEEE Int.Symp.Electron.Environ., Proceedings
The Japanese Recycling Law for Electrical Home Appliances was fully enforced as of April 2001. Although there have been various disputes and criticisms concerning the law, both before and since the enforcement, the majority was not based on actual data. Now that the recycling law has been active for four years, its effectiveness can be assessed empirically rather than just theoretically. This study therefore conducted an empirical assessment of the Japanese recycling law, scrutinizing the empirical assessment framework concerning the recycling law and selecting target items to be assessed. The results were as follows. (A: Achievement of material cycles) Although recycling had been carried out smoothly, collection should be secured in order to avoid inappropriate treatment. (B: Cost efficiency and monetary flows) Cost efficiency seemed to remain approximately at the same level after the enforcement of the law, whereas incentives for cost reduction had not yet been created. (C: Boundary within or outside the scope of the recycling system) Of the total discarded target waste appliances, the law saw only 43% transferred to the recycling facilities while 22% remained unidentified. Illegal dumping did not increase to the extent feared by the public. While that of air conditioners decreased slightly, that of waste TV sets had apparently increased. Other categories of electrical home appliance accounted for 80% and 25% in numeric and weight terms respectively of 49 electrical home appliances remaining outside the category of appliances targeted by the recycling law. (D: Behavioral changes of stakeholders) Consumer waste reduction prompted by the enforcement of the law was modest although it was expected by the law. Certain retailers collected waste products thoughtlessly, which was more likely to result in inappropriate disposal. Producers were apparently motivated by the law to change their product design.