Current status and research on E-waste issues in Asia

Atsushi Terazono*, Shinsuke Murakami, Naoya Abe, Bulent Inanc, Yuichi Moriguchi, Shin Ichi Sakai, Michikazu Kojima, Aya Yoshida, Jinhui Li, Jianxin Yang, Ming H. Wong, Amit Jain, In Suk Kim, Genandrialine L. Peralta, Chun Chao Lin, Thumrongrut Mungcharoen, Eric Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Citations (Scopus)


Rapid economic growth in Asia and the increasing transboundary movement of secondary resources will increasingly require both 3R endeavors (reduce, reuse, recycle) in each country and appropriate control of international material cycles. Recently, managing electrical and electronic waste (E-waste) has become an important target for domestic and international material cycles from the viewpoints of environmental preservation and resource utilization efficiency. To understand the current status of E-waste issues in the context of international material cycles and to discuss the future tasks related to achieving 3R in the region, we organized the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) E-waste Workshop in December 2004. This article reviews past studies on E-waste and briefly describes the topics presented and discussions held at the workshop. The topics at the workshop included E-waste generation, recycling systems, international trade, and environmental impacts. In addition, we discussed various issues such as terminology, current environmental concerns, and possible solutions. Transboundary shipments of E-waste should be conducted taking into consideration the concept of sustainable development. The direction of future research and possible collaborations are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Material Cycles and Waste Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


In this context, Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) launched a research project (Structural Analysis of Material Cycles and Waste Management in Asia) in cooperation with the United Nations University/Institute for Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS, FY2002 to FY2003), the University of Tokyo (FY2003 to FY2004), and the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE/JETRO, FY2004), with funding by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan from FY2002 to FY2004. The objectives were to identify the structure of material cycles in Asia, focusing mainly on material exported from Japan, to understand the current waste management situation in Asia and to identify the tasks needed to improve the situation.

FundersFunder number
Institute of Developing Economies
United Nations University/Institute for Advanced Studies
United Nations University
University of TokyoFY2003
National Institute for Environmental Studies
Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan
International AIDS SocietyFY2002


    • Asia
    • E-waste
    • Environmental preservation
    • Material cycles
    • Recycling systems


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