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Driving investment in the transformation to a circular economy - New partnership calls for expressions of interest for projects on circular plastic packaging and textiles in developing countries

28 April 2021


VIENNA, 28 April 2021 - A partnership led by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) issued a call for expressions of interest for pilot projects aimed at accelerating the circular economy in two critical value chains of developing countries, namely textiles and garments and plastic packaging. Submissions from EU-headquartered multinational corporations (MNCs) working with their suppliers in developing countries to implement circular practices are welcomed.

The call is part of the UNIDO-led five-year “SWITCH to Circular Economy Value Chains” project, which the Organization delivers in partnership with Chatham House, Circle Economy and the European Investment Bank[1]. The project is funded by the European Union and exemplifies the international dimension of the new EU Circular Economy Action Plan.

Complex and multi-faceted, the transition towards a circular economy is imperative to achieve substantial economic, environmental and societal benefits, which can significantly reduce poverty. However, businesses in developing countries face significant technical and financial challenges in implementing circular economy practices. Therefore, there is the need for an effective, independently verifiable and replicable demonstration of the approach’s benefits, with European MNCs and their suppliers having a critical role in running well-designed pilots that can catalyze the switch to circularity.

Accordingly, the SWITCH to Circular Economy Value Chains partnership will connect EU MNCs and their suppliers with circular economy experts to overcome circular economy challenges in pilot projects that involve all relevant actors across value chains. This will in turn support the circular economy transition, thereby contributing to sustainable growth, low carbon and climate resilient development, decent jobs’ creation, and safer, healthier and pollution-free environment.

Ultimately, the project will contribute to multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); notably SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 13 (Climate Action).


[1] Subject to finalisation of contractual arrangements

For further information, contact:

Akos Koeszegvary

Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO