India can generate 1.4 crore jobs by investing in the circular economy

Last Updated at: Jul 11, 2022
India Can Generate 1.4 Crore Jobs By Investing In The Circular Economy

While attending the Circular Economy Symposium 2019, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that there is a need for legislation to promote the circular economy in the country. He also mentioned that the sustainable development and resource circularity is required to establish a circular economy.

Several nations have acknowledged the circular economy as a model for sustainable development. This is one of the unrealized fields in our economy.

“Circular economy has the ability to generate 1.4 crore jobs in the next 5-7 years across the country and create lakhs of new entrepreneurs. Resource circularity is the need of the hour to implement the circular economy.”, he said at the symposium organized by the industry body FICCI.

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Circular Economy

Circular Economy or circularity is an economic system focused on minimizing waste and making most of the resources, it is achieved by design, reuse, repair, recycle and refurbishing. Plus, it is an alternative to the traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose of).

Amitabh Kant also said that by 2050 the world population would reach 9.7 billion and out of that 3 billion would be middle-class consumers. We would require 71% additional resources per capita to meet the demand. Therefore, it will increase mineral and material demand from 50 billion tonnes in 2014 to 130 billion in 2050.

Furthermore, Niti Aayog also gave strong emphasis on the need to promote NGO to spread awareness and develop the circular economy at the national level.

Labour intensive

The labour-intensive recycling value chain can results in  6 to 8 times more jobs than by incineration or wastes landfilling. For examples: United States scrap industry generated around 150,000 direct jobs and 323,000 indirect jobs in 2015. Similarly, in China, the recycling industry generated 1.5 million direct jobs and about 10 million indirect jobs.

Presently, the metal recycling sector in India employs nearly 1.75 million people, contributing 2 per cent of GDP. Also, research shows that, in all likelihood, content recycling will generate six times more jobs in 2030. Hence, this calls for recycling to be named as a ‘strategic sector’ under the Make in India programme, given the enormous environmental footprint of the industry, its immense job creation potential and its prospects of adopting high-end processes and technologies.


Similarly, a focus on ’emerging technologies’ would be absolutely critical for radically transforming the recycling industry in the future.

The technologies combined with artificial intelligence could fundamentally change the way in which materials and natural resources are

  • accounted for,
  • valued and traded,
  • also incentivising individuals, companies and governments to unlock financial value from the so-called waste materials.

Energy consumption

The global community has late begun realizing the long-term effect that a circular economy may have on mitigating climate change. Sadly, India doesn’t emphasis ‘circular economy’ as an important pillar of NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions). Also, it is used for achieving low carbon growth with social equity and inclusiveness.  The reduce-reuse-recycle of wastes strategy eventually reduces the energy consumption in the commodity value chain.

For example, 34 trees, 5 oil barrels, 8200 kWh of electricity, 8 cum of landfill and 63560 litres of water can be conserved by recycling 2 tonnes of paper alone. 

Similarly, recycling an aluminium can or a glass container production can reduce 95% and 70% of the energy required for producing one from virgin material. 


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