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Chapter Summary

Recycling may, in principle, be regulated or promoted through a great variety of economic instruments. The waste management hierarchy and life-cycle thinking, which form the basis of contemporary environmental product policies, obviously need to be considered while promoting recycling via economic instruments. Many of the economic incentives applied to recycling are, in practice, taxes, charges and subsidies. They are in other words, by their very definition, pecuniary instruments in the vocabulary of trade law. The distinctions are admittedly somewhat vague, but it is, nonetheless, possible to identify three principal economic tools that may also be characterized in terms of trade law as non-pecuniary instruments, even if their undertone is clearly of economic nature: internalization of environmental costs, deposit-and-refund schemes, and tradable pollution rights. A proper starting point for discussing the non-pecuniary market-based tools from the perspective of electronics recycling is in the fundamentals, in the mandatory "internalization of the externalities".

Keywords: deposit-and-refund schemes; environmental costs; market-based tools; tradable pollution rights; waste management hierarchy



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