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Contact the Central American Group to explore the foreign investment option in Costa Rica and to establish nearshore manufacturing operations in the Green Park Free Zone.
To transform the current production model and promote economic strengthening, competitiveness, and social well-being in Costa Rica, the National Circular Economy Strategy (ENEC) was recently presented to create a circular economy in Costa Rica.
What is a circular economy?
A circular economy is a sustainable economic model designed to minimize waste and resource depletion by emphasizing the continual use, recycling, and repurposing of materials and products. Unlike the traditional linear economy, which follows a “take-make-dispose” pattern, a circular economy strives to keep resources and products in circulation for as long as possible. This concept promotes practices such as reusing, refurbishing, and recycling and the development of eco-friendly products and renewable energy sources. By prioritizing resource efficiency and reducing environmental impacts, a circular economy in the country aims to create a more resilient and environmentally responsible approach to economic growth while mitigating the adverse effects of overconsumption and waste generation.
This initiative, developed with the participation of institutions from the public and private sectors, academia, and non-governmental organizations, aims to turn Costa Rica into a leader in circular economy, innovation, and sustainability for Latin America through a sustainable and circular economic development model by the year 2050.
From the School of Economics of the National University, academics Marjorie Hartley and Rocío Hartley share a statement regarding the ENEC and the move towards a circular economy.
For a country like Costa Rica that has traditionally invested in conservation and more recently has committed to global initiatives such as decarbonization and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the circular economy in Costa Rica represents a challenge and an opportunity to continue on the path of environmental sustainability, social equity, and economic growth.
Linear mechanisms for satisfying needs have led societies to increasingly extract exhaustible resources, generating unmanageable amounts of waste that impede the resilience of ecosystems. The infrastructure for handling and managing this waste grows at a different rate than its quantity, thus becoming a significant financial burden for communities and local and national governments. At the same time, they are a heavy burden on ecosystems, which has taken them to the limit of their assimilation capacity. The waste generated by today’s lifestyle is an enormous financial burden on economies. It creates a loss of well-being for societies and the depletion and destruction of ecosystems.
Transition to a circular economy in Costa Rica makes economic sense
The shift towards a circular economy in Costa Rica that preserves the value of the materials and products that are generated challenges economies to innovate in processes for the transformation of traditional forms of production, consumption, and distribution that are putting at risk all the species that inhabit the planet.
The UNA School of Economics believes that a circular economy in Costa Rica will translate into a reduction in the use and consumption of materials and energy that enters the economic system in the form of inputs. Furthermore, by making more efficient and effective use of materials and waste, the circular economy contributes to reducing production costs and protecting ecosystems essential for life.
The transformation towards a circular economy in Costa Rica also challenges public policy, particularly from environmental and fiscal policy standpoints. The right signals must be sent so that the productive and social sectors reorient their decisions towards an economic shift.
Moving towards a circular model in Costa Rica is an opportunity to transform the current economic and social paradigm. It is an opportunity for the country to advance in achieving the SDGs because it involves all areas of life: production, consumption, employment, education, culture, and values in their interaction with nature.
What will be the results of implementing a circular economic model?
Thus, the circular economy in Costa Rica proposes the creation of new capacities of sectors and people and the development of local and national knowledge for transformation. In general terms, it is expected to:
- Generate new non-polluting jobs.
- Promote innovation of products and production processes.
- Promote the emergence of new business models.
- Encourage the creation of new economic and financial instruments.
- Increase waste collection and reuse rates.
- Promote the participation of people and communities.
The implementation of the circular economy in Costa Rica demands the participation of all social actors, including universities, which must contribute and accompany the various sectors to improve information and recommend strategies and public policies that facilitate the successful transition to the implementation of a circular economy in Costa Rica.
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