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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2020

Katrien Steenmans and Rosalind Malcolm

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact that property rights can have on the implementation of circular waste economies, in which waste is reused, recycled or…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact that property rights can have on the implementation of circular waste economies, in which waste is reused, recycled or recovered, within the European Union’s Waste Framework Directive.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical lens is applied to the legal definition as well as production and treatment cycle of waste to understand the property rights that can exist in waste.

Findings

This paper argues that even though different property rights regimes can apply to waste during its creation, disposal and recovery, the waste management regulatory and legal system is currently predominantly set up to support waste within classic forms of private property ownership. This tends towards commodification and linear systems, which are at odds with an approach that treats waste as a primary wanted resource rather than an unwanted by-product. It is recommended that adopting state or communal property approaches instead could affect systemic transformative change by facilitating the reconceptualisation of waste as a resource for everyone to use.

Research limitations/implications

The property rights issues are only one dimension of a bigger puzzle. The roles of social conceptualisation, norms, regulations and policies in pursuing circular strategies are only touched upon, but not fully explored in this paper. These provide other avenues that can be underpinned by certain property regimes to transition to circular economies.

Originality/value

The literature focused on property rights in waste has been very limited to date. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to consider this question in detail from a legal perspective.

Details

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9407

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2020

Katrien Steenmans, Rosalind Malcolm and Alison Clarke

Abstract

Details

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9407

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Article
Publication date: 15 September 2020

Yuhong Zhao

The purpose of this paper is to examine China's approach to circular economy (CE) and investigate how the foreign concept of CE has been turned into a national strategy…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine China's approach to circular economy (CE) and investigate how the foreign concept of CE has been turned into a national strategy for implementation in production, circulation and consumption. This study aims to highlight the Chinese characteristics in the implementation of CE from central to local levels including the “trial and test” by pilot schemes and the role of local governments in CE transformation of industrial parks and in building CE cities. Based on what has been achieved, this paper aims to identify the gaps to be filled in the next stage of CE implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper engages in critical analysis of state policies, plans, laws and regulations and case studies of Suzhou New District and Shanghai city in the building CE-oriented industrial park and CE city, respectively.

Findings

China has taken a top-down approach to CE characterised by strong government involvement in both policy and plan making and implementation at local levels. The government’s financial investment and administrative assistance proved to be crucial in the early stage of CE implementation to close the loop at industrial parks and in cities. In comparison, participation by enterprises and individuals is still weak and limited, which should be the focus of the next stage of CE implementation.

Originality/value

There is an absence of legal literature that studies circular economy in China. This paper fills the gap by examining the development of CE law and policy as well as CE implementation at local levels from industrial parks to cities.

Details

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9407

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2020

Anne Barbara Bottomley

This paper aims to investigate the potential of the “image-idea” of a “circular economy” for re-thinking property in law: In particular, to develop a strategy for making…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the potential of the “image-idea” of a “circular economy” for re-thinking property in law: In particular, to develop a strategy for making visible “alternative property practices” of community ownership across the subject areas of business and property law, to enhance the visibility of models of community ownership and interrogate their potential.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study research was undertaken into three public houses to investigate the ways in which the orthodoxies of property and ownership in the academy are challenged by evidence of “alternative property practices” in the community.

Findings

Using this approach renders visible tensions between the logics of economic value and social asset, carried in processes of abstraction and materiality, and mediated within the field of property by the development of techniques for holding property as title and benefit. It reveals the ways in which “property” as idea, practice and technique is used by people seeking to disrupt or defend against the economic logic of profit and investment. It raises questions concerning how property and law is imaged in the academy and it introduces one way of using an image-idea to open new perspectives and potential.

Research limitations/implications

These implications emerge: the partiality of orthodox accounts of property; the importance of thinking property in terms of life-cycle and logics ecologies, field and techniques; how an model-theory derived from one discipline can be repurposed, in a second life, in an other discipline as an “image-idea” to refresh the host discipline; the significance of investigating “community assets” within and for property law and the need for more research into “alternative property practices” and the importance of case studies.

Practical implications

An enhanced knowledge of the development and potential of “community assets” within the academy, and of the potential to promote and support “alternative property practices” with the requisite legal skills and techniques – alongside a consideration of the limits of formal law in terms of policy expectations.

Social implications

The research is of value to community activists in thinking how law can be used to support community development in terms of holding community assets; and the limitations of formal law which then requires an embedded approach considering how the development of practices and narratives can support community initiatives in relation to property held for community benefit.

Originality/value

There has been very little coverage of “community assets” within legal research, especially moving across business and property as subject areas, and no coverage on public houses taken into community ownership. This paper combines an introduction to the relevant legal forms with a consideration of the use of them in practice: considering, in particular, how practices and narratives deployed by and within the community think and present “property” as a means by which to counter the economic logic of profit. All this is made possible through the use of case-studies made visible by the utilization of the image-idea of the circular economy – used here not as a model-theory, but rather as an aid to opening thinking into new territories accessed through new perspectives.

Details

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9407

Keywords

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