The transition from a linear to circular economy – in which products and materials are designed to be recycled, repaired, and reused rather than thrown away, and waste from one industrial process becomes input into another – has become widely accepted by businesses and policymakers alike as a new model for resilient growth. In a world where we currently generate over 2 billion tons of solid waste annually and 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans, the shift towards a circular economy offers great potential for countries to generate new jobs, reduce pollution and litter, and contribute to climate adaptation and mitigation.
At the same time, though developing countries and emerging markets are the current centres of production and increasing centres of consumption, minimal attention has been afforded to the role they can and must play in the shift towards a global circular economy. Given that current estimates place 1 billion new consumers in the developing world by 2025, it is essential that our focus on the circular economy is inclusive. Without the implementation of a successful circular economy model in emerging markets, we will not see the necessary shift in consumption and production patterns worldwide.
Innovation can be a powerful force driving our transition towards an inclusive, circular economy. This Global Maker Challenge on Climate Change aims to find and support solutions from startups and entrepreneurs around the world that will empower communities, especially those in developing countries, to eliminate waste and use existing resources through low-carbon, circular approaches. To do so, the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity is seeking applications from innovators and makers around the world that will:
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