The circular economy offers an unparalleled opportunity. It’s good for the economy, good for society and good for the planet. Supporting the transition would save lives and create employment, accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and reducing the tension between lifting people out of poverty and protecting the planet.
How waste can save lives and create jobs - the virtuous circle
In the developing world there is a huge and growing waste problem. Currently, 9 million people die every year due to the mismanagement of waste and pollutants. That's 20 times more people than die of malaria. If we ignore this waste problem, we will miss a key opportunity to save lives and create jobs for people living in poverty.
The circular economy is a new way of thinking about the world. Our current way of doing things is linear: we take natural resources, make items, use them and then throw them away. At this end point all the energy, water and materials used in making the items are thrown away too. The circular economy, however, keeps resources in use for as long as possible. Many items, such as cars, can be shared rather than left sitting idle. They can also be repaired or rebuilt rather than being thrown away when they break. This creates new job opportunities and reduces health-damaging waste.
We are working to help communities around the world to embrace the circular economy - creating jobs and saving lives. By reducing waste, you can be part of this new way of working too.
Virtuous circle (PDF 867 KB)
A paper jointly published by Tearfund and the Institute of Development Studies, outlining the triple win that the circular economy offers for low and middle-income countries.
Closing the loop – summary
An executive summary of Tearfund's research report on the benefits of the circular economy for low and middle-income countries.
English (PDF 655 KB)
Portuguese (PDF 385 KB)
Closing the loop – full report
The full version of Tearfund's research report on the benefits of the circular economy for low and middle-income countries.
English (PDF 1.1 MB)
Portuguese (PDF 614 KB)