Digitally enabled business models for a circular plastic economy in Africa.

KOLADE, Seun, OYINLOLA, Muyiwa, OGUNDE, Wunmi, ILO, Celine and AJALA, Olubunmi (2024). Digitally enabled business models for a circular plastic economy in Africa. Environmental Technology & Innovation, 35: 103657.

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In recognition of the need for an economic logic that complements and reinforces the ecological imperative for the circular plastic economy, this paper explores the importance and impact of digitally enabled circular plastic business models across retailing and distribution systems. The paper draws from 16 focus group discussions, complemented by 17 semi-structured interviews of frontline organisations incorporating digital innovations in their businesses to enable the management of plastic waste in Africa. The study finds that, across African countries, the transition to a circular plastic economy has been hampered by the limited uptake of circular products by consumers. In order to accelerate the transition, innovative business models are required to invigorate the ecosystem and simplify the logistics of retailing and distribution systems. The paper proposes a new conceptual framework that explicates the impact of digital innovations in the processes of value creation and value capture across a whole spectrum of circular economy reverse logistics activities: recycling, redistribution, and remanufacture. The study also highlights two important social and policy implications of digitally-enabled circular business models: Firstly, the creation of new employment opportunities through the empowerment of a new labour force for the circular plastic economy; secondly, the heightened opportunity to enact an innovative sharing economy in typically resource-constrained contexts in which otherwise idle products and resources are more efficiently used in a process of collaborative consumption.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0502 Environmental Science and Management; 0907 Environmental Engineering; 1002 Environmental Biotechnology
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 07 May 2024 08:34
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 14:45

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