Keywords: closing the loop, materials cycling, recycling firms, remanufacturing firms, government policy, Texas, USA, United States, industrial ecology, public policy, public education programmes
Loop closing, material cycling and government policy: a case study from Texas
A central element of Industrial Ecology (IE) is material cycling or closing the loop on material use by directing used material and products (wastes) back to production processes. Through the use of a questionnaire survey of recycling and remanufacturing firms in Texas, this paper examines the firms' perception of a variety of public policies that may be helpful in this regard. The paper examines the firms' perception of a continuum of policies ranging from 'soft' policies such as public education to 'strong' policies based on mandatory regulation. Initial results suggest limited support for most policies with the notable exception of public education programmes. However, more detailed analysis suggests the existence of two types of firm: self-actualising firms and pragmatic firms. The former group is in favour of any and all policies that might expand opportunities for them but there is little indication that coherent preferences exist among the group.