1st Edition

The Circular Economy and the Global South Sustainable Lifestyles and Green Industrial Development

    238 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The circular economy is a policy approach and business strategy that aims to improve resource productivity, promote sustainable consumption and production and reduce environmental impacts. This book examines the relevance of the circular economy in the context of developing countries, something which to date is little understood.

    This volume highlights examples of circular economy practices in developing country contexts in relation to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), informal sector recycling and national policy approaches. It examines a broad range of case studies, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, and Thailand, and illustrates how the circular economy can be used as a new lens and possible solution to cross-cutting development issues of pollution and waste, employment, health, urbanisation and green industrialisation. In addition to more technical and policy oriented contributions, the book also critically discusses existing narratives and pathways of the circular economy in the global North and South, and how these differ or possibly even conflict with each other. Finally, the book critically examines under what conditions the circular economy will be able to reduce global inequalities and promote human development in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Presenting a unique social sciences perspective on the circular economy discourse, this book is relevant to students and scholars studying sustainability in economics, business studies, environmental politics and development studies.

    List of Tables

    List of Contributors



    List of Acronyms

    Part: 1 Introduction

    1. Sustainable lifestyles, livelihoods and the circular economy
    Patrick Schröder, Manisha Anantharaman, Kartika Anggraeni, Tim Foxon and Jeffrey Barber

    Part 2: Narratives and politics of waste and the circular economy in the Global South

    2. The many circuits of a circular economy
    Ashish Chaturvedi, Jai Kumar Gaurav and Pragya Gupta

    3. The politics of marine plastics pollution
    Patrick Schröder and Victoria Chillcott

    4. Circular economy and inclusion of informal waste pickers: political economy perspectives from India and Brazil
    Patricia Noble Gonzalez

    5. The role of women in upcycling initiatives in Jakarta, Indonesia: A case for the circular economy in a developing country
    Priliantina Bebasari

    Part 3: Policy frameworks and green industrial development approaches

    6. The Argentinean Zero Waste Framework: implementation gaps and over-sight of reusable menstrual management technologies
    Jacqueline Gaybor and Henry Chavez

    7. Assessment of the Circular Economy Transition Readiness at a National Level: The Colombian Case
    Claudia Garcia and Steve Cayzer

    8. Promoting Industrial Symbiosis in China’s Industrial Parks as a Circular Economy Strategy: The Experience of the TEDA Eco Centre
    An Chen, Yuyan Song and Kartika Anggraeni

    9. Accelerating the Transition to a Circular Economy in Africa: case studies from Kenya and South Africa
    Peter Desmond and Milcah Asamba

    Part 4: Livelihoods and traditional circular economy practices

    10. Securing nutrition through the revival of circular lifestyles: A case study of endogenous rural communities in Rajasthan
    Deepak Sharma and Jayesh Joshi

    11. Contesting thoughts and attitudes to ‘Sufficiency’: Organic farming in an urbanised village in Thailand
    Atsushi Watabe

    Part 5: Conclusion and Outlook: Circular economy approaches for the Sustainable Development Goals

    12. Which pathways lead towards an inclusive circular economy?
    Patrick Schroeder, Manisha Anantharaman, Kartika Anggraeni, Tim Foxon



    Patrick Schröder is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, UK and holds a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

    Manisha Anantharaman is an Assistant Professor in Justice, Community and Leadership at Saint Mary's College of California, USA and holds a PhD from University of California Berkeley, USA.

    Kartika Anggraeni is a project manager at the Collaborating Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) in Wuppertal, Germany. She is currently co-managing an EU SWITCH Africa Green project in Kenya.

    Timothy J. Foxon is Professor of Sustainability Transitions at the University of Sussex, UK and the author of Energy and Economic Growth: Why we need a new pathway to prosperity (Routledge, 2017).

    "As global rates of waste and carbon pollution rise exponentially, the idea of building a circular economy has captured the imaginations of policy-makers, activists, businesses and designers. The authors in this timely and insightful collection challenge circular economy proponents to integrate the perspectives of people in the Global South, so far marginalized in this debate, if we are ever to achieve the inclusive - and radical – Green Transformation we need. Combining innovative research with on-the-ground case studies, The Circular Economy and the Global South is a must-read for students, scholars, practitioners and activists in this field." -- Kate O'Neill, Professor in the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management, UC Berkeley, USA 

    "As the circular economy gathers momentum, in both policy discourse and practice, this edited book brings a timely and necessary contribution from the Global South. The limits and opportunities of the circular economy are presented from diverse perspectives, ranging from the livelihoods of Brazilian and Indian women waste pickers, to the development of Chinese eco-industrial parks. The contested politics and social dimensions of the CE are brought to the fore through cases that will provide excellent reading material for students interested in sustainability issues. Ultimately, this collection demonstrates how circular economy approaches must go beyond closing loops and maintaining the lifestyle standards of a fortunate few: there is a strong call for a circular economy that will grapple in earnest with the need for sustainable and inclusive wellbeing, in a world of limits." -- Marlyne Sahakian, Professor at University of Geneva, Switzerland

    "Today, we have a window of opportunity to rethink our economies and align them through the circular economy with the cycles and principles of Nature. However, the circular economy concept also has to prove that it can ensure sustainable livelihoods and lifestyles of the people within the economy. This is what the 'Circular Economy 2.0' is trying to achieve. Countries in the Global South are well placed to adopt an inclusive and equitable circular model as they have lower carbon and material footprints than their counterparts in the North, they are often based on interconnected communities and have young populations desiring equal opportunities. Designing waste-free, pollution-free economies and reducing inequality is not only possible, but necessary to ensure shared prosperity and no one is left behind. The Circular Economy and the Global South highlights why the circular economy is an important opportunity for the developing world as we speak!" -- Alexandre Lemille, co-founder of African Circular Economy Network (ACEN), initiator of a 'Circular Economy 2.0' focusing on opportunities for the human sphere