A summary of the above article:
While pollution in China is a greater problem than in the United States, China sees the virtue for correcting it.
The European Union, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea — and next year, China — have enacted producer-responsibility laws requiring that anything with a cord or battery — from an electric toothbrush to a laptop to a washing machine — has to be collected and recycled at the manufacturers’ cost. Thus the recycling costs are built into any product. Of course recycling costs will work their way into product design.
A U.S. company has developed a way to recover plastics from discarded consumer products, and re-manufacture the result into new plastic, cutting energy usage per unit of new plastic produced by 90%. The U.S. government helped pay t develop this process, but this company's two plants are overseas, where governments require recycling, as noted above.
When it comes to recycling, the United States is a Bozo