This regional policy guide is an output of the Closing the Loop initiative, which targeted sustainable consumption and waste management in the Asia-Pacific region. The project was a partnership between the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Stockholm Environment Institute, Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing and other stakeholders, including the municipal administrations in the two case study cities, Bangkok and Pune.
Arising from the increasing concern about plastic waste contaminating the natural environment in Asia and the Pacific, this initiative set out to foster a development pathway that integrates the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability with the more efficient management of natural resources and a natural environment that supports human well-being and shared prosperity in Asian and Pacific urban areas. The goal was to identify a more inclusive circular economy approach to waste management. It fostered multi-stakeholder partnerships in workshops and gathered evidence in two cities – Bangkok, Thailand and Pune, India – to develop two case study reports.
This regional guide brings together the city-specific findings as well as experiences from the Asia-Pacific region to highlight associated opportunities for fostering a more inclusive, circular waste management system and the economic, social and environmental benefits.
The guide highlights implemented measures and their impact as well as areas needing further research and development. It focuses on the informal sector in waste management to understand the workforce-based infrastructure and thus find sustainable pathways that can support informal efforts where they are effective or improve conditions for the workers. Sustainable pathways thus include recognition of informal workers to future-proof their livelihoods and addressing plastic waste leakages to protect the environment.
This guide will be useful to urban stakeholders wanting to develop an inclusive circular economy approach in their city: municipal administrators, waste management specialists, civil society actors active in the informal waste management sector and private sector waste managers.