Understanding Circular Economy Examples and Initiatives

Understanding Circular Economy
Examples and Initiatives

Circular tourism is also known as regenerative tourism and there are multiple circular economy examples around the world. It’s an eco-friendly lifestyle and business model that benefits the local community of a destination in more ways than one. It has many similarities to eco-friendliness, but requires a much higher commitment level.

What is circular tourism & a circular economy?

A circular economy generally runs off of a three tier framework. Preventing pollution and wastage, regrowing and regenerating the natural environment and also keeping materials in a constant cycle of being reused. Circular tourism, which can be called regenerative tourism, is what implements these three tiers in the tourism industry. What makes regenerative tourism different to general sustainability, is instead of just minimising harm to the environment, it instead follows a strict plan of actively aiming to heal and improve the environment from how it was before you arrived. Some benefits of circular economy sustainability include preserving local environments for future generations to enjoy, protecting local traditions and cultures, creating a more stable economy and oftentimes creating more jobs for the local residents. 

There are simply so many ways that regenerative tourism offers benefits and to understand exactly what it is, here are some circular economy examples:

  • Using locally sourced materials 
  • Planting new trees after cutting them down
  • Reusing items for a new purpose 
  • Lowering emissions towards eventual net-zero levels
  • Avoiding single-use items

In some destinations, circular economy sustainability is the main lifestyle operated by everyone within the community. In other places, it is a new policy that is gradually being utilised over time. 


Ecotours Project is co-funded by the European Union and is a growing partnership between multiple nations (including Italy, France, Hungary for example) to increase their knowledge and participation in a European circular economy by offering tours. They target local communities to focus on their natural heritage while also contributing to the bigger picture of an environment that lowers emissions. As far as circular economy examples go, this is the top sample.

Global Tourism Plastics initiative

This initiative is one of the most well-known circular economy examples within the tourism industry aiming to get to the root cause of plastic pollution. With over 200 organizations collaborating to tackle this worldwide problem, it has become a key player in the circular economy sustainability world. It has already proven to be successful as multiple countries and tourism businesses have adapted to using multi-use plastics and putting a lot of effort into single-use plastic recycling.

Ripple Africa

Ripple Africa aims to help the deforestation problem on the continent by offering initiatives that help plant new trees and plant life. With almost 2,000 conservation patrol members, over 21 million trees replanted and 340 square kilometres of forest being protected, this is another important addition to the list of circular economy examples doing their bit for the environment. 

With every type of circular economy sustainability, comes a new set of challenges that people are working to solve. By protecting the environment on a large scale and providing specific areas the protection they need, Earth is able to regenerate over time. If you’d like to help a respected cause, consider joining one of the groups above to understand the mission to do your part.

Would you like to receive more inspiration directly to your email inbox?
Please click here to register for Ecotourism World newsletter!