Circularity in Brazil

With the help of our partners mandacaru and Flutter Innovation, we’ve put together a brief summary of the difference that circular design could make in Brazil. Scroll on to take a closer look at the challenges and opportunities facing this region.

An ecosystem in danger


While Brazil is blessed with some of the world’s richest ecosystems, these places are also heavily exploited for natural resources, and are also regularly deforested to make space for large-scale livestock farming. Most of the resources that are extracted end up quickly used and thrown away — often leading to further environmental pollution. Circularity has the potential to drive great change in Brazil, but the concept is still largely unknown in most sectors. Both big and small companies in Brazil need more design and sustainability know-how, but there is a lack of access to the right kind of information and investment. If we can raise both awareness and urgency around the exploitation of resources and the reduction of waste, we can protect some of the world’s most important forests and the Indigenous communities that they sustain.


Ancestral futures

For centuries, Brazilian culture has been heavily influenced by trends and attitudes from the Global North. But today a decolonial movement is emerging that wants to centre the perspectives and experiences of local communities. Indigenous leader and philosopher Ailton Krenak is one of the key figures attempting to bring more consciousness to how Brazilians make, build and relate to nature. He wants to remind people that nature is not a resource, asking: ‘How can you produce something sustainable if the extractive system is sovereign and changes the cycles of life on Earth?’

The business of greenwashing

In Brazil, few citizens or organisations are well-educated on sustainable or circular principles. This is aggravated by companies misleading consumers with greenwashing campaigns that are at odds with the realities of their businesses. Creatives working in the advertising or branding industry can ignite change from within by educating their clients and their target audiences about these practices. This should go hand in hand with efforts to help companies reimagine their business models — from rebuilding operations, to rethinking organisations, and accelerating the adoption of digital solutions.


In Brazil, laws addressing the use of plastics vary by municipality, and are usually limited to a single category of products, such as cups and utensils. At the same time, aesthetic and marketing concerns have led to an increase in the volume of materials used in a single product, which results in excessive packaging. This is especially true in the food sector, where the demand for convenient and portable foods (including delivery and pre-processed items) is growing quickly, reinforcing the use of packaging for individual consumption.


To accelerate Brazil’s transition to a circular society, we must bend the line where it matters most. Here are some key opportunities to consider.


Read More

  • How could you revive Indigenous ancestral knowledge and help people incorporate it into their lives?

  • How could you persuade people to see sharing or reusing products as more desirable than buying or owning them?

  • What could you do to show industries, governments and individuals that a circular society is also good for business?