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The key challenges in waste management facing rapidly developing economies are the consideration of increasing resource consumption and waste generation, as well as the establishment of a “sound material cycle society”. The latter refers to the concept of promoting a social change in which the consumption of natural resources is minimised and the environmental load is reduced as much as possible by preventing products from becoming wastes, promoting appropriate recycling of products, and securing appropriate disposals of wastes that are not recycled.

This chapter proposes that recycling is not only about technical solutions or engineering of resource‐recovery from waste. Rather, it is an issue of how to systematically organise institutional infrastructure and physical infrastructure to sustain recycling mechanisms. Lessons from the ‘sound material cycle society’ policy of Japan are discussed. By reviewing policy‐related issues for recycling in developing Asia, the challenges and opportunities for the institutionalisation of recycling and the establishment of a ‘sound material cycle society’ in the context of developing economies are summarised.

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