Sustainable Development Through the Circular Economy: Experience From Emerging Economies

Sustainable Development Through the Circular Economy: Experience From Emerging Economies

Quazi Tafsirul Islam, Md. Shamim Talukder, Kazi Lamia Haque
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8258-9.ch005
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Linear economic models have led us to a point where our planet can no longer sustain itself and heal its natural resources. Thus, circular economy has provided us the opportunity to hope for increasing resource value, extending its life as a means to put waste back into the consumption chain. In emerging economies, circular economy-based business models are not as pertinent. However, in the past decade, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have provided a guideline for businesses, legislators, and academics. It has been witnessed that a few notable initiatives in the field of the circular economy have taken place in emerging economies which has led to achieving different SDGs to a certain extent. This chapter discusses the potential circular economy-based business models held in the attainment of different sustainable development goals.
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Circular Economy (Ce)

Circular economy (CE) is not a recent concept. However, it has resonated a lot in recent years as consumer consideration towards leaving a habitable planet behind has exponentially increased. Studying a total of 114 definitions of the circular economy, Kirchherr, Reike & Hekkert (2017) explains that the Circular Economy (CE) business models significantly differ from conventional linear models as the idea is to replace the end of product life concept with a recycle, reduce, and reuse of material resources at micro, meso, and macro-level.

In a linear economy, initially, resources are mined, following that the material is sourced for further processing, then converted into finished goods; lastly, at the end of the cycle, the goods become trash and lose their resource value. In contrast, a circular economy refers to an economic model where resources are given new life by reusing, repairing, remanufacturing, or refurbishing (Awan et al., 2020). However, the idea lies on the same principles that the planet we live on can only sustain a limited amount of life and resource at a single point in time. For example, according to forecasts, all the critical resources like Antimony, Lead, and Indium on this planet used extensively to create renewable energy solutions will only last another decade or so (Desjardins, 2014).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cradle to Cradle (C2C): When a product reaches the end of its life cycle, the constituting resources are reused to produce a new product.

Closing the Loop: To retain the maximum value of a resource by reusing, recycling and increasing the lifetime of waste in a circular economy model.

Sustainable Development Goals: Goals set by the United Nations for the betterment of the world as a whole.

Business model: A plan or infrastructure that generates and delivers value.

Remanufacturing: Manufacturing, Recovering, or Repair of a product from materials derived from waste.

Circular Economy: A sustainable economic model based on reuse, recycling, and extending the useful life of existing resources.

Emerging Economy: The growing economy of developing countries as they transition from low to middle income.

Recycling: Treatment and recovery of the materials contained in collected waste.

Sustainability: To prevent the depletion of natural resources and protect and maintain balance in the environment.

Linear Economy: An economic model where resources are used to make a product and then discarded after its useful life.

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