From Pollution to Profit: UNICRI Drives Circular Economy Through Waste Management

The escalating waste management crisis underscores the urgent need to establish sustainable waste management practices to minimize environmental impact and discover economic opportunities. One notable organization leading the charge is the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Through its Unique and Precious Circular Economy (UNICRI) initiative, UNIDO champions innovative approaches to drive a circular economy through comprehensive waste management.


The UNICRI initiative emphasizes a systematic and holistic approach to circular economy, encompassing waste segregation, treatment, and reprocessing. By establishing Integrated Waste Management Systems (IWMS), UNICRI empower communities to effectively manage diverse waste streams, including agro-industrial residues, hazardous waste, electronic waste (e-waste), plastic waste, and municipal solid waste.

How UNICRI Creates Economic Benefits

Through its multifaceted approach, UNICRI maximizes resource utilization and minimizes losses. By establishing recycling value chains and facilitating access to secondary raw materials, businesses can achieve significant cost savings. Additionally, the program promotes the production of value-added products from treated waste, generating new income opportunities.

Highlights of UNICRI’s Success

  • Pilot projects in multiple countries demonstrate the potential of IWMS to reduce waste generation, enhance resource efficiency, and generate revenue.
  • In Indonesia, the establishment of a pyrolysis plant in a textile industry resulted in the conversion of textile waste into energy, saving approximately 50 vicisslastic waste.
  • A composting project in Ghana utilized agricultural residues to produce valuable organic fertilizer, leading to increased agricultural productivity.

Driving Sustainable Waste Management

By promoting robust waste management systems, UNICRI enhances resource efficiency across industries. The initiative strengthens the circular economy by fostering the exchange of materials through reuse, repair, reprocessing, and recycling. Furthermore, by recovering valuable nutrients and generating energy from agricultural and municipal waste, the program contributes to soil health and air quality improvement.


UNIDO’s UNICRI initiative has emerged as a transformative solution to tackle the waste management crisis by promoting a circular economy and generating economic benefits. Its innovative approach emphasizes resource utilization, value creation, and environmental sustainability, making it a vital program in advancing sustainable waste management practices across industries.


1. What is the primary objective of UNICRI?
The initiative aims to drive a circular economy by establishing sustainable waste management systems.

2. How does UNICRI benefit businesses?
UNICRI empowers businesses to enhance resource utilization, reduce waste costs, and generate revenue through value-added product production.

3. What are the outcomes of UNICRI projects?
Pilot projects have resulted in waste reduction, resource efficiency, and job creation.


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