An analysis of regulatory strategies for recycling and re-use of metals in Australia

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Abstract

This article considers regulatory strategies that promote more efficient use of material inputs within the Australian economy, with particular focus on recycling and recovery of metals, drawing upon the concept of a "circular economy". It briefly reviews the nature of regulation and trends in regulatory strategies within changing policy contexts, and then examines the regulatory framework applicable to the various phases in the life cycle of metals, ranging from extraction of minerals to processing and assimilation of metals into finished products, through to eventual disposal of products as waste. Discussion focuses upon the regulatory strategies applied in each phase and the changing roles of government and business operators within global distribution networks. It is concluded that the prevailing political agenda favoring deregulation and reduced taxation may be a major barrier to development of new styles of regulation and more effective use of taxation powers that is needed to support a more circular economy in metals. The implication for future research is the need to substantiate the outcomes of reflexive regulatory strategies with well-designed empirical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-415
Number of pages21
JournalResources
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Barriers and enablers
  • Circular economy
  • Metal recycling
  • Product stewardship
  • Reflexive regulation
  • Regulatory strategies
  • Sustainable development
  • Waste management

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