It is often argued that a circular economy has solutions to the economic problems in India. What are the principles on which circular economy is based? Discuss its relevance in India.

The circular economy is a concept, that involves using and reusing resources again and again, in contrast to the linear economy which is based on the use and throw model.

The circular economy is based on the 5R principle:

  • Reduce – reduce extraction of resources.
  • Reuse – reuse old and used products.
  • Recycle – recycle discarded products into something useful.
  • Restore – restore discarded and damaged items.
  • Remanufacture – make something new from the resources already present. Ex- iron and steel industry can get carbon from scrap tyres.

India is one of the most populous countries in the world and there is ever-increasing pressure on limited natural resources.

The concept of circular economy has immense significance in the context of India:

  • Lesser extraction of raw materials like copper would prevent money spent on imports.
  • Would increase the usage efficiency of scarce resources like water.
  • Would help in the conservation of forests. India aims to increase 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of additional carbon sink in its INDC target, the concept of a circular economy will be very beneficial in this context.
  • Employment generation in circular economy sectors like recycling units.
  • Solves the menace of waste disposal. India produces around 7 million tonnes of e-waste every year and 60 billion liters of sewage on daily basis, this can be recycled or used for electricity or other raw materials.

The circular economy concept holds immense significance for achieving sustainable development goals and becoming a green economy with balancing the economic growth.

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