Journal Circular Economy And Sustainability

The Circular Economy and Sustainability journal aims to bring a new approach of the key concepts of circular economy and sustainability, by combining the scientific disciplines of economy, management, engineering, technology, environment, and society.

As circular economy is necessary today to promote the goals of sustainable development, these scientific areas are not independent to each other, but their relations, interactions and synergies exist and should be further developed and studied. Interdisciplinary approaches and multiple connections between these scientific areas are required not only to reach the sustainability goals but also to solve diverse environmental problems, expand technological limits and overcome potential economic disturbances.

This approach is expressed with new policies (command and control, market-based instruments, and circular public procurement), technological suggestions (e.g. technical cycle solutions), environmental engineering technologies (e.g., waste management, 3r strategies, water recycle, wastewater treatment and reuse, renewable energy), circular business models, circular innovations, circular management solutions, consumers’ behavior in circular economy, new circular economy products labels and social acceptance in circular economy. These topics could be classified in three levels; the micro-level (firm-level engineering and managerial level), meso-level (industrial ecology, industrial symbiosis, eco-clusters, eco-industrial parks), and macro-level (general policies, plans, green and sustainable entrepreneurship).

All content in the journal will in 2020 and 2021 be freely accessible to everyone

Latest Results

The latest content available from Springer
  • Circular Economy and Sustainability
    01 December 2021
  • New Kids on the Recycling Block: the Role of Supermarkets and Bodegas for Sustainable Consumer Behaviour in Lima
    01 December 2021


    Only 4% of total municipal solid waste in Lima is recycled. Supermarkets and bodegas are in a unique, highly relevant position for the transition towards a circular economy due to their direct influence on customers’ consumption patterns. This paper explores the role of supermarkets and bodegas for consumer recycling behaviour, looking both at already implemented practices and possibilities for the future. Based on semi-structured interviews conducted with key actors in the recycling sector in 2019 and 2020, we analyse the sector regarding its main actors and their different interests, the interactions between them and the regulatory framework, as well as specific initiatives undertaken to increase recycling. We then compare the main mechanisms through which consumer recycling behaviour can be influenced between supermarkets and bodegas based on the three categories convenience, knowledge and socio-psychological factors. Our in-depth analysis outlines the different pros and cons for each of the three categories in detail.

  • Green and Sustainable Packaging Manufacturing: a Case Study of Sugarcane Bagasse-Based Tableware in Egypt
    30 November 2021


    Bagasse-based products contribute to solving the plastic pollution problem. This paper presents an alternative by producing bioplastic products that can be manufactured in many forms ranging across different industries such as food packaging, single use tableware, and crafts. The researchers aim to prove the alternative’s market variability through conducting a feasibility study of establishing a technological manufacturing plant producing bagasse-based tableware in Egypt. Researchers performed different scenarios aiming to reach the best cost, quality, resources, and profitability of producing bagasse biodegradable tableware in Egypt as a replacement of Styrofoam and validated the base scenarios using “Powersim simulation tool”. Practical impact of this researcher is to assist in promoting low-carbon economy solution in addition to producing safe bioplastic products replacing Styrofoam for food packaging and tableware fabrication.

  • Low-Carbon Materials: Genesis, Thoughts, Case Study, and Perspectives
    29 November 2021


    This study focuses the attention on clean energy and low-carbon materials as key enablers in circular economy (CE) transition and a more sustainable path of human development. Environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive economic growth has been suggested by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals since 1990s. Diverse stakeholders including governments, companies, international organizations, and scientific community are taking action in favor of the CE model. The long-sought sustainable development and CE goals encompass all endeavors of human beings. Currently clean energy transition is well defined in a broader global policy framework in many countries and areas to tackle the climate challenges, whereas materials with a low-carbon footprint are receiving less attention. This opinion article is aimed at critically reviewing the genesis; enabling conditions, some applications, and descriptions of low-carbon materials; and suggesting a way forward along with policy implications.

  • Circular Economy and International Trade: a Systematic Literature Review
    24 November 2021


    The role of international trade in accelerating the transition to a circular economy is receiving increasing attention in the global policy arena and academic literature. It is a complex area of study encompassing domestic policy, international trade governance, multilateral environmental agreements, material flow analysis, and Just Transition. Due to the expansiveness and interconnectivity of the topic, this article conducts the first systematic literature review on the intersection between a just circular economy transition and international trade. A total of 69 articles were reviewed spanning academic and grey literature. The article identifies and discusses the predicted adverse impacts and benefits of the global CE transition. One striking finding of the review is the prevalence of competing claims across the literature, which will potentially lead to the design of ineffective policy actions. This contradiction of claims is indicative of the significant knowledge gaps in terms of mapping and understanding the complex trade flow dynamics associated with the CE transition. It also presents the most common recommended actions covering immediate policy actions and further research. Policy actions include the development and harmonization of CE standards and definitions, upgrading the Harmonized System of codes structure and customs processes to better enable trade in CE goods and services and mainstreaming circular economy objectives in free trade agreements. Further research is required on how to ensure a Just Transition, the role of global trade in terms of remaining within the planetary boundaries and achieving the SDGs; and improving trade flow modelling. New research is also required on the impacts of geopolitics, technological innovation, and CE finance on circular trade.

  • Circular Economy Business Models: a Repertoire of Theoretical Relationships and a Research Agenda
    24 November 2021


    The shift towards a more resource efficient circular economy has become a necessity in the wake of current ecological, economic and social sustainability challenges. Mirroring circular-related developments in policy and business quarters, the circular economy literature is growing as a distinct field of academic enquiry. Yet, the conceptual and theoretical foundations of circular economy thinking need consolidation. Drawing from strategic management, sustainability transitions and systems theories, this article establishes some theoretical anchoring for circular economy business models. It finds that circular business models contribute to an understanding of both competitive advantage and the systemic nature of business. It also develops a future agenda for management research at the interface between the circular economy and business models.

  • Economic Shock and Agri-Sector: Post-COVID-19 Scenario in India
    23 November 2021


    The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the human health and global economy. The food and agriculture sectors have also felt these effects. In many countries, the measures taken to curb the spread of the virus were initiated to hinder the supply of agricultural products to markets and consumers inside and outside the borders. How this impacts the food safety, nutrition, and the livelihoods of farmers, fishermen, and others working in the food supply chain depends mainly on short-, medium-, and long-term policy responses. Epidemics pose severe challenges to the food system in the short term, but they also offer an opportunity to face challenges and accelerate the transformation of the food and agricultural sectors to increase resilience. The aim of the review was to highlight the valuable insight on the impact of COVID-19 on the Indian agricultural system and rural economy, as well as potential strategies for post-pandemic recovery.

  • Circular Approaches in Small-Scale Food Production
    22 November 2021


    Globally, food production is one of the main water and energy consumers. Having in view the growing population on global scale, a higher efficiency of food production is needed. Circular approaches offer a large potential to enhance the efficiency of food production and have a long tradition in the food production process of mankind. However, industrial farming has interdicted traditional cycle-closed farming approaches leading to a variety of environmental challenges. The contribution illustrates the basics of traditional gardening and farming approaches and describes how their characteristics are adapted in innovative modern farming systems like aquaponic, permaculture, urban farming, as well as recovered traditional farming systems. The approach to combine traditional farming methods with modern ones will provide multiple benefits in the future to ensure food security. There is to be underlined that such a strategy holds a substantial potential of circular flux management in small scale food production. This potential could be transposed to a larger scale also, particularly in terms of agroforestry and integrated plant and animal husbandry or integrated agriculture and aquaculture. In this way, small-scale food production holds a large potential for the future implementation of the water-energy-food security nexus.

  • Urban Networks, Micro-agriculture, and Community Food Security
    18 November 2021


    The white paper first outlines the state of inequity in food security/sovereignty in our area of focus, taking into account historical context as well as emerging and ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and community and policy responses to it. We then discuss a food acquisition intervention, structured as a longitudinal, collaborative research, and service-learning effort known as Everybody Eats. The white paper provides detailed discussion of competing understandings of agriculture, horticulture, and the social problem of food insecurity; the preliminary data that has led to a current collaborative effort to enhance the skillset of people previously not understood as food producers and provisioners, but only as end-user consumers; and the new iteration of the project wherein specific sets of expertise from diverse disciplines are deployed both to offer a more robust intervention, and bring new methodologies to bear in assessing the ecology of a local foodshed. We propose mobilizing existing resources and expertise of the Land Grant/Cooperative Extension system to act as a regional hub for facilitating full community food security (caloric and nutritional adequacy) and food sovereignty (participatory decision-making regarding living spaces and culturally appropriate foodways). Finally, we illustrate how a nexus of faculty, working from a service-learning advocacy perspective and embedded in a participatory action framework, provides a mechanism for bringing together and sustaining a community of intellectually diverse researchers and stakeholders.

  • Biowaste Management and Circular Economy: Usage of Pay as you Throw System and Autonomous Composting Units in Municipality of Probishtip
    18 November 2021


    Municipal solid waste (MSW) management is still a significant environmental problem for all Balkan and Mediterranean countries, under constant pressure from relevant EU legislation and public. In general, waste management services in the Republic of North Macedonia do not comply with national and international regulations. They are incomplete and contain only inefficient waste collection and poorly controlled or uncontrolled landfill, with no additional elements of advanced waste management as defined in EU waste directives. The municipal solid waste management continues to be a significant challenge in all states of the European Community and is an important element in the transition to a circular economy. An important aspect of implementation of the circular economy assumptions in the case of MSW is a plan for reducing waste amounts deposited at landfills and enhancing the share of waste, which can be returned to the system as material and organic recycling. In the light of soon expected establishment of regional integrated and self-sustainable waste management system in the east and north-east planning regions of the Republic of North Macedonia, in order to increase awareness by the local population and hospitality enterprises for source separation schemes of organic waste, as the largest producers of organic waste, University Goce Delchev and Hellenic Mediterranean University together with Municipality of Katerini, Municipality of Yermasoyia, and Municipality of Probishtip launched a joint project co-founded by EU, “Utilizing Pay as You Throw Systems and Autonomous Composting Units for Biowaste Management in Touristic Areas.” PAYT system and ACUs as innovative technologies for biowaste management involve source separation schemes of organic waste. The aim of this paper is to present the transfer and application of innovative technologies Pay As You Throw (PAYT) system and Autonomous Composting Units (ACUs) for biowaste management in Municipality of Probishtip, thus reinforce the system of circular economy (CE) in the Republic of North Macedonia.

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Key objectives:

  • continue to refine the contemporary scientific theory and evidence base of circular economy in tandem with the research-education-business nexus;
  • provide a network to connect and convene higher education globally to stimulate new research and educational initiatives;
  • share significant findings through high quality research publications, conferences and mainstream media
  • promote educational offerings to business, government, academics and other stakeholders