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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

16. Circular Economy in Mexico

Authors : Gabriela Munoz-Melendez, Gian Carlo Delgado-Ramos, Rocio Diaz-Chavez

Published in: Circular Economy: Recent Trends in Global Perspective

Publisher: Springer Nature Singapore

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Abstract

In Mexico the concept of a circular economy (CE) is relatively new. Public policy and associated research towards implementing a circular economy model are fairly recent but growing rapidly. This happens inside an existing legal framework that partially addresses elements that could lead to a solid foundation to adopt CE strategies. Because of the cooperation between the Mexican government and international agencies CE components operate at different degrees of efficiency. In such framework non-governmental organizations also act, together or in cooperation with the government. Literature review as well as national statistics show that there is a large potential to adopt a CE model. This may have beneficial impacts such as achieving several goals of the 2030 Agenda, including the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, social inequality, and poverty alleviation. CE benefits could also have economic advantages as minimizing costs, making profits, and generate employment. Previous exercises, existing practices, and accumulative knowledge show that waste management of urban solid waste is a priority; however, challenges must be overcome, such as strengthening recycling and composting, generating energy from waste, attending lack of infrastructure, managing informality and created interests, and shaping cultural mishaps. Other additional targets to close loops under CE strategies should consider agricultural waste, e-waste, and one-single-use plastics whose volumes are increasing at accelerating pace and a more detail characterization is needed to derive management plans and exploitation. There are other subtypes of waste that require urgent attention such as hazardous waste (particularly infectious waste) and special handling waste (notably building construction and demolition debris); all flows that could impact public health or conduct the country towards more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive pathways. Windows of opportunity to adopt CE strategies indicate that water issues should be considered seriously as a target sector as it has relevant cobenefits such as reducing water scarcity, minimizing urban flooding, and improving water quality. Last but not least, CE thinking should be embraced more by critical economic sectors such as tourism and industry and be expanded on places where is partially running such as retail stores. This document summarizes the current status of several waste flows over period of time through national statistics. In addition, the existing legal framework that could give way to implement CE is revisited. Analysis of data here included showed the huge potential of CE in Mexico if such a model is fully embraced. It also pointed at how to close open-loops and identified where more detailed records are needed to carry out a sound diagnosis. We conclude that for Mexico a CE hybrid model would be desirable. This will require connecting a just and sustainable transition agenda which in turn implies enabling new ways of thinking and planning, but also of interinstitutional coordination and governance schemes. Recognizing diversity may be important as some CE practices in Mexico may fully embrace technological innovations, while others may mostly be based on social and organizational innovations. Additionally, changing and reducing unsustainable consumption patterns should be a parallel measure to CE.
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Metadata
Title
Circular Economy in Mexico
Authors
Gabriela Munoz-Melendez
Gian Carlo Delgado-Ramos
Rocio Diaz-Chavez
Copyright Year
2021
Publisher
Springer Nature Singapore
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-0913-8_16