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CREED Paper #10: The Economic and Environmental Impacts of the Waste Paper Trade and Recycling in India: A Material Balance Approach

Author(s)Pieter van Beukering, Anantha Duraiappah
Serie(s)Creed Working Papers


There has been increasing pressure from governments and NGOs to restrict the international trade in waste in the belief that each nation should address its own waste disposal problems. In this paper we develop a Material Balance Flow Model to investigate if free trade in non-toxic waste can contribute to economic development and simultaneously reduce environmental degradation. The model is formulated as a non-linear programming model with an objective function which minimizes environmental and economic costs. The model in principle describes the life cycle of paper in India. Preliminary results suggest that trade in waste paper is both economically and environmentally advantageous. The results also show that domestic and imported waste paper are complementary and that import of waste paper does not "crowd out" the domestic waste paper sector.


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