Building momentum for sustainable behaviors in developing regions using Locally Managed Decentralized Circular Economy principles

Chandni Joshi, Jeffrey Seay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Despite the current threat from climate change, plastic collecting in the world's oceans, and the steady loss of biodiversity, the world continually fails to take action with regard to our rapidly changing ecosystem. Unfortunately, waiting on governments to act is no longer a viable option. Rapid change is needed and the pace of diplomacy is simply too slow. Democratic governments are reactionary and taking action to solve future problems is not a priority, even as the threat of potential ecological catastrophe draws ever closer. Change is in the hands of individuals, and it is our decisions and behaviors that will influence the future of our planet and our ability to inhabit it. Therefore, building momentum for sustainable behavior must begin with individuals. The neoliberal approach to environmental protection posits that individuals are motivated by rational self-interest, and that economic incentives are necessary to achieve environmental goals. However, recent research suggests that monetary gain alone actually negatively impacts behavior, and often neglects the rural poor. As a result, models for projects designed to benefit the environment need more than just a monetary incentive, they must incorporate all three pillars of sustainability: environment, economy and society. One approach for building momentum for sustainable behavior with regard to municipal solid waste management, particularly in the developing world, is by implementing Locally Managed Decentralized Circular Economy (LMDCE) principles. This contribution will describe the role behavioral economics plays in the choices made by producers and consumers. The results of a case study on applying LMDCE principles in Uganda to manage waste plastic accumulation by conversion to fuel oil will be presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1571
Number of pages6
JournalChinese Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China, and Chemical Industry Press Co., Ltd.


  • Appropriate technology
  • Behavioral economics
  • Fuel
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Pollution
  • Pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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