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Circular economy in low and middle income countries

As TNO we contribute to a more circular economy in low- and middle-income countries. In most countries circular principles are in place, but overall present economic activities are still linear and recycling rates are low. Waste streams in a specially middle-income countries are already significant and growing rapidly. Waste is considered a serious threat for both the health of people and the environment. Towards the future rapid urbanization and growing welfare may lead to changes in behavior and even larger waste streams.

The opportunities and challenges for a circular economy

The transition to a more circular economy not only alleviates the impact of growing waste streams but also creates opportunities for development. Circular principles can promote local industries, create jobs and reduce import dependency.

There is still a chance for low income countries to leap frog the scenario of ever larger waste stream and massive landfills and transform directly into a circular economy. This is a major challenge and will need a comprehensive plan and diligent execution as well as close cooperation between government and private sector.

goals and means

As TNO we support the transition towards a circular economy in low- and middle-income countries through the development of:

  • policies, standards and measures;
  • circular economy roadmaps;
  • modelling and monitoring tools and programs for material flows and circular impact;
  • circular business models;
  • innovation ecosystems and circular hubs;
  • circular solutions and pilot projects.

Get in touch with us

If you want to collaborate with us in low and middle income countries

Contact

Projects for a circular economy

In the execution of our projects we collaborate closely with local partners. We do invest in the development of strong consortia and innovation ecosystems. Only in close cooperation we can drive change in the right direction.

A few examples of our work:

Inclusive circular business models in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe have expressed the ambition to tackle the waste issues in their countries from the perspective of the circular economy, thus focusing on the 7 R’s of rethink, reduce, re-use, repair, refurbish, recycle and recover.

TNO supports them by first conducting a baseline study on the current waste situation, second determining for which waste stream there is highest potential to move towards circularity and third, define an actionable roadmap and pilot project to transition to a more circular waste system.

Impact model for circular plastics in Indonesia

Rivers are polluted with plastic waste. The Ocean Cleanup is removing these plastics from rivers with its Interceptor and looking for sustainable routes for further processing of the recovered plastic. TNO has developed the Waste Treatment Tool for The Ocean Cleanup to determine the best treatment options for plastic waste from rivers.

Roadmap for circular household equipment in Kenya

Kenya has seen a significant increase in the consumption of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). Unfortunately, a lot of this eventually ends up as waste since proper end-of-life processing infrastructure is lacking.

To address this challenge, TNO and Sustainable Inclusive Business Kenya (SIB) are, together with CTCN and Kenyan representatives, developing  an action plan for a future-proof e-waste management system, focusing on large household appliances.

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News

TNO developed Waste treatment Tool for plastics in rivers

27 October 2021
Rivers are polluted with plastic waste. The Ocean Cleanup is determined to remove these plastics from rivers. For the environment and for value creation, the river plastics should be properly treated.... Read more
News

Towards a circular e-waste infrastructure for Kenya

14 April 2021
Kenya has seen a significant increase in the consumption of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). Unfortunately, many EEE eventually ends up as waste since proper end-of-life processing infrastructure... Read more
General

From litter to resource: Supporting South-eastern Africa

From March 2021 to May 2022, TNO supported Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe with the transition towards more sustainable and circular waste management. During this project, TNO facilitated the development... Read more
Innovation for development
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Drs. Peter Paul van 't Veen

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