Second Roundtable on Circular Economy

Organizers: Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( and Ekonnect Knowledge Foundation Mumbai (

Date: 6th December 2018

Time: 15:00-18:00 hours

Venue: Conference Hall, Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chennai

Topic: Circular Economy in Integrated Waste Management


The first roundtable held in February 2018, provided a much needed introduction to the concept of Circular Economy, its benefits, challenges and the capacity development needs. Carrying it forward, it was realized that it is essential to provide a platform for all stakeholders to get involved to address environmental sustainability and introduce circular economy practices. This would improve businesses competitiveness, employment generation, increase in green investment flows, partnership development and help in establishing a transparent and inclusive governance.

MCCI had successfully completed its Urban Thinker’s campus with the theme- Roadmap to Zero Waste in Chennai on 9th & 10th November 2018. A key outcome from this conference was to integrate Circular economy in different waste streams and build capacities.

With this premise the second roundtable session with a focus on Integrated Waste Management was planned on 6th December 2017 in Chennai. A pre-read on a few key topics was distributed to the participants prior to the roundtable.


The roundtable provided an opportunity to introduce the concept of Circular Economy, the canvas and opportunities in Integrated waste management. The roundtable also initiated an open deliberation to get inputs from participants towards understanding the best probable solution in areas of
1. Technologies for Waste segregation/sorting of dry waste for recycling
2. Decentralized waste processing facilities for compost and bio-gas
3. Waste recycling and recovery industry (Bio-CNG as clean fuel for transportation, C&D waste recycling, E-waste business)
4. Challenges in Plastic Waste Management
5. Urban Mining

Summary of the Sessions:

Session I: Ms. K. Saraswathi, Secretary General, MCCI briefed the participants on the different sessions of the Urban Thinkers Campus – Roadmap to Zero Waste in Chennai. The presentation covered aspects on the issues, the reasons for the issues, solutions and key stakeholders involved in Chennai. Behavioural change, decentralised treatment, introducing opportunities in Circular economy were key outcomes of the conference.

Session II: Dr. Prasad Modak, Director, Ekonnect Knowledge Foundation briefed the participants on the concept and evolution of Circular Economy, 6Rs circular economy models in Waste management. The presentation elaborated on different business models and opportunities as well as showcasing the current CE policies adopted worldwide.

Session III: The participants engaged in an open forum discussion on the existing waste management challenges in Chennai. The absence of waste characterization zone wise, source segregation, decentralized solutions economies and lack of awareness were key reasons cited. The participants also brainstormed on possible solutions to overcome these challenges.

Session IV : The mentimeter app was used and questions were posed to the participants to gauge their individual perspective on the key topics of discussion.

Key Takeaways:

The participants in the open forum urged MCCI to take initiative in the following

  1. Develop a long term plan and engage with the Resident Welfare associations(RWA)
  2. Study economies & logistics of decentralised treatment solutions
  3. Create a platform for decentralised & recycling enterprises to be developed for the informal sector
  4. Provide more awareness session on Waste management
  5. De-link Corporation’s burden of waste collection and enhance RWA’s responsibilities in waste management

The results from the mentimeter app centred around the need for

  1. Mindset change , source segregation and enhancing awareness
  2. Public Private partnerships for decentralised waste treatment solutions


Established in 2012, Ekonnect Knowledge
Foundation is a Section 8 not-for-profit
company offering awareness, training and
education programs in the domains of
environmental management and sustainability.

Contact Ekonnect

Ekonnect Knowledge Foundation
504/505, 5th Floor, Balarama Building,
BKC, Near MMRDA Office,
Bandra (East) Mumbai – 400051
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Phone: 91-22-62215944 / 5946



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