Environmental and economic policy analysis of waste paper trade and recycling in India

Vinod K. Sharma, P.J.H. van Beukering, Barnali Nag

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A comprehensive case study of Mumbai (Bombay), India was undertaken to investigate the economic, social and environmental impact of international trade of waste paper for recycling purposes between industrialised and developing countries. Analysis of a Western approach vis-a-vis informal policy for waste paper recovery concludes that employment is maximum under informal policy measure and public response plays an important role in maintaining environmental quality. The study further shows that income inequality is more under informal policy, and without policy public cost will increase continuously in the future. The net present value of the informal policy is found to be higher than that for the formal policy. Econometric study on input substitution in the Indian paper industry suggests limited substitution possibilities between domestic and imported waste paper. Results from a static material balance flow model indicate that environmental impacts are less with increased trade and economically the paper sector in India benefits from free trade. Based upon the results of the study, some policy recommendations have been made that may enhance the efficiency of waste paper recycling in India.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55–70
Number of pages15
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Paper industry; Waste; Recycling; Trade; Environment; India

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