Circular economy and zero-carbon strategies between Japan and South Korea: A comparative study

Manuel Herrador, Wil de Jong, Kiyokazu Nasu, Lorenz Granrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The global population is increasing, as is the demand for basic materials. At the same time, key resources are in short supply, and the extraction and use of raw materials have major environmental implications, for instance, increased CO2 emission. In a Circular Economy (CE), resources and products are divided, leased, reused, repaired, refurbished, and recycled, extending product life cycles, reducing waste, and generating additional value. Government entities in Japan and South Korea are designing and implementing policies to facilitate the transition to a CE and achieve carbon neutrality. The paper compares Japanese policies and actions with those of South Korea, identifies challenges and options for improvements in each country, and lessons that they can share. The paper reviews CE and low carbon policies in the two countries and compares how those, but also public interest and initiatives differ between them. It provides recommendations to address observed shortcomings and capture opportunities to connect CE and zero-carbon strategies. The article is expected to interest Japanese and South Korean policy-makers, companies, and academics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153274
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 10
Externally publishedYes


  • Circular economy
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Zero carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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