Circular economy and environmental health in low- and middle-income countries

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dc.contributor.author Wright, Caradee Yael
dc.contributor.author Godfrey, Linda
dc.contributor.author Armiento, Giovanna
dc.contributor.author Haywood, Lorren K.
dc.contributor.author Inglesi-Lotz, Roula
dc.contributor.author Lyne, Katrina
dc.contributor.author Schwerdtle, Patricia Nayna
dc.date.accessioned 2020-05-11T14:36:18Z
dc.date.available 2020-05-11T14:36:18Z
dc.date.issued 2019-12
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND : The circular economy framework for human production and consumption is an alternative to the traditional, linear concept of ‘take, make, and dispose’. Circular economy (CE) principles comprise of ‘design out waste and pollution’, ‘retain products and materials in use’, and ‘regenerate natural systems’. This commentary considers the risks and opportunities of the CE for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), acknowledging that LMICs must identify their own opportunities, while recognising the potential positive and negative environmental health impacts. MAIN BODY : The implementation of the CE in LMICs is mostly undertaken informally, driven by poverty and unemployment. Activities being employed towards extracting value from waste in LMICs are imposing environmental health risks including exposure to hazardous and toxic working environments, emissions and materials, and infectious diseases. The CE has the potential to aid towards the achievement of the SDGs, in particular SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). However, since SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) is critical in the pursuit of all SDGs, the negative implications of the CE should be well understood and addressed. We call on policy makers, industry, the health sector, and health-determining sectors to address these issues by defining mechanisms to protect vulnerable populations from the negative health impacts that may arise in LMICs as these countries domesticate the CE. CONCLUSION : Striving towards a better understanding of risks should not undermine support for the CE, which requires the full agency of the public and policy communities to realise the potential to accelerate LMICs towards sustainable production and consumption, with positive synergies for several SDGs. en_ZA
dc.description.department Economics en_ZA
dc.description.department Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2020 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The South African Medical Research Council and the National Research Foundation. en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.globalizationandhealth.com en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Wright, C.Y., Godfrey, L., Armiento, G. et al. 2019, 'Circular economy and environmental health in low- and middle-income countries', Globalization and Health, vol. 15, no. 1, art. 65, pp. 1-5. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1744-8603 (online)
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/74534
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher BioMed Central en_ZA
dc.rights © The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. en_ZA
dc.subject Environmental health en_ZA
dc.subject Sustainable production en_ZA
dc.subject Sustainable consumption en_ZA
dc.subject Circular economy (CE) en_ZA
dc.subject Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) en_ZA
dc.subject Sustainable development goals (SDGs) en_ZA
dc.title Circular economy and environmental health in low- and middle-income countries en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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