Circular Economy

Advantage Tamil Nadu

  • Tamil Nadu has been traditionally practising the reuse, recycle, renew and refurbish practices of the Circular Economy. Because of its inherent strengths, the State is a frontrunner in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. Tamil Nadu is a diverse and economically and socially developed State.
  • It is the second largest economy in the country and is fast transitioning as a service economy. As a result, it has transformed into the country’s most urbanised State. While being an economically developed State,
  • Tamil Nadu has also demonstrated its commitment to protecting the environment. It has created the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission, the Tamil Nadu Wetlands Mission and the Green Tamil Nadu Mission, all of which are combined as a Green Climate Company. As a 360-degree approach to create a climate-resilient Tamil Nadu, the State Government has formed District Climate Change Missions. Meendum Manjappai is a scheme launched in Tamil Nadu to promote the use of cloth bags by the public and discourage the use of plastic bags.
  • The State is a pioneer in generation and application of renewable energy and aims to achieve carbon neutrality ahead of 2070, the target set for the country. It has also launched a novel project, ‘Carbon Neutral Coimbatore,’ to make the Textile City carbon neutral by 2050.

Sector Incharge

Sakthivel Kaliappan



Circular Economy is nature’s equivalent of ‘living within your means,’ an approach to living within the means of our planet. The concept of Circular Economy has gained significant attention and momentum in recent years as a promising solution to address the challenges posed by the traditional linear economy. Unlike the linear model of “take-make-dispose,” the Circular Economy aims to create a regenerative and sustainable system where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, maximising their value and minimising waste. It rests on the principles of minimisation of waste and pollution; extension of the useful life of products and materials and regeneration of natural systems.
In a Circular Economy, products and materials are designed for reuse, repair, remanufacture, and recycling. The focus is on closing the loop by keeping resources in circulation and reducing the extraction of new raw materials. By doing so, the Circular Economy aims to minimise environmental impact, conserve natural resources and create economic opportunities.

One of the fundamental principles of the Circular Economy is the shift from a linear supply chain to a closed-loop system. This involves adopting practices such as product design for durability, modularity and ease of disassembly, enabling components and materials to be recovered and reused. It also involves implementing efficient reverse logistics systems to facilitate the return and refurbishment of products at the end of their use. Startups can play a major role in accomplishing these activities.

Circular Economy also emphasises the importance of waste management and recycling. It encourages the development of robust recycling infrastructure and processes that can efficiently transform waste into valuable resources. By recycling materials, we can reduce the pressure on virgin resources and mitigate the environmental impacts associated with extraction and disposal. Startups can come up with innovative products and solutions for waste management, sustainable alternatives for construction materials and recycling and reuse of plastic.
The benefits of transitioning to a Circular Economy has potential economic advantages, including job creation, development of new markets and industries and increased resource efficiency. It can also lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air and water quality and a more resilient and sustainable society.

Startups have scope for combining climate action initiatives with circular economy living practices in conservation and preservation of natural resources Those in climate action can mitigate carbon emission to a considerable extent by utilising emerging technologies and innovative models, besides making renewable energy cost-effective for the consumer. Agriculture and animal husbandry are the other areas in which Startups can introduce innovative, climate mitigation practices, especially technology-driven water management and scientific handling of biowaste. Products using sustainable materials, like edible cutlery, will also ensure the sustainability of Startups. Carbon capturing is an emerging area for Startups in Tamil Nadu.


Union Government

India’s policy framework to promote the Circular Economy is based on a multi-pronged approach that includes regulatory measures, financial incentives, awareness campaigns and capacity building.

National Resource Efficiency Policy (NREP)

One of the most important policies to achieve the goal of a Circular Economy is the National Resource Efficiency Policy. It was launched in 2019 with the objective of promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns, enhancing resource efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of economic activities. The policy includes measures to encourage the adoption of circular business models, such as product-as-a-service, leasing and sharing and promotes the use of recycled materials.

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)

This is another critical policy intervention when it comes to aspects of waste segregation and recycling. The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in 2014 with the objective of promoting cleanliness, hygiene and waste management. The mission includes initiatives to promote waste segregation, recycling and composting and aims to make India a “zero-waste” country.

Atal Innovation Mission
Atal Innovation Mission was launched in 2016 to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. It includes initiatives to support the development of circular business models and encourage the adoption of sustainable technologies.

Financial Incentives

In addition to these policy initiatives, a number of interventions that revolve around financial incentives for the efficient utilisation of resources have been made. The Union Government has implemented various financial incentives to encourage the adoption of circular business models and promote sustainable consumption patterns. These incentives include tax benefits, subsidies and low-interest loans to the recycling industry.

National Green Hydrogen Mission

A budget of Rs 19,700 crore has been allocated for the National Green Hydrogen Mission. This mission aims to support the transition of the economy towards low carbon intensity, reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports and position the nation as a technological and market leader in this emerging industry.

GOBARdhan Scheme

As part of the GOBARdhan Scheme, 500 new “waste to wealth” plants arel being established, comprising 200 compressed biogas plants and 300 community/cluster-based plants.

Bhartiya Prakritik Kheti Bio-Input Resource Centres

The Union Government plans the transition of one crore families to natural farming by establishing 10,000 bio-input resource centres under the Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddati, which has been scaled up as National Mission on Natural Farming.

State Government

A Rs 1000-crore Green Fund has been created to invest in circular economy, renewable energy and other projects aimed at mitigating climate change impact.

StartupTN offers special packages of assistance for Green Tech Startups (Startups in the fields of Sustainability, Climate Change, Renewable Energy, and Circular Economy). The package includes funding, training and mentorship. The assistance under TANSEED has been enhanced from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh.

Tamil Nadu has implemented a scheme to promote circularity in the State’s leather clusters for solid waste management.
In an attempt to control indiscriminate disposal of e-waste, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has licensed four e-waste processing facilities and 38 waste dismantlers in the State.


Incubator and R & D Institutions

  • Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET)
  • National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) Laboratory, Chennai
  • NIFT-TEA Incubator-Knitwear Fashion Institute, Tiruppur
  • AIC RAISE – Rathnam Incubation Centre, Coimbatore
  • ICAR National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchi
  • Circular Economy Cell, NITI Aayog.