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Closing the Loop: Benefits of the Circular Economy for Developing Countries and Emerging Economies

This Tearfund research report presents evidence to the effect that emerging economies can leapfrog development stages and implement an economic model that is better both for society and for the environment. It suggests that - if implemented correctly - circular economy and Cradle to Cradle® production models are capable of promoting the maintenance of natural ecosystems while at the same time offering benefits to the poorest groups in society.

The report illustrates the tremendous window of opportunity provided for Brazil by the new Solid Waste National Policy. Policies such as this can help low- and middle-income countries to build on and formalize existing informal circular economic activities, thereby taking a development path that avoids many unsustainable elements of the linear production model. The various case studies included in this report demonstrate the potential of the circular economic model to bring numerous social benefits, such as strengthening local economies, empowering the poorest families and building resilience, through stimulating the entrepreneurial spirit of businesses based on the solidarity economy. Although the circular economy concept is not yet very well known in Brazil, this system has already taken root in various countries, in innovative businesses and major global production chains.

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