A recent study by global consultant Frost & Sullivan finds that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member nations’ aspirations for sustainability are driving the replacement of linear waste management models with circular models, creating a new wave of opportunities. The report titled Circular Economy Redefining the GCC Waste Management Market, 2021, gives a detailed analysis of the growing opportunity in waste management in the region. Population growth and accelerated economic development are increasing total waste generation in the region (including construction and demolition (C&D) waste, municipal solid waste (MSW), plastic waste, and lead-acid battery waste). If unchecked, this could result in an increase from 130.6 million metric tons in 2021 to 163.9 million metric tons by 2025. A transition toward circular models is already underway, as with the UAE’s Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031 and the KSA’s Circular Carbon Economy. The policies reflect the region’s commitment to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) while enhancing the quality of life for residents.
Nations have agreed to “significantly” curb items such as plastic bags and straws by 2030. Environmentalist groups warn the measures don’t go far enough, with the US reportedly blocking efforts for more radical action.
Ethos, a foundation created by Swiss pension funds enables to invest, according to sustainable development principles.
UK-based charity, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, has released a suite of policy resources to encourage more cities to transition to a circular economy.