The Journal of Industrial Ecology recently published a Special Issue on Exploring the Circular Economy. Interest in the circular economy has grown remarkably in recent years. Viewed as a concept by some, a framework by others, the circular economy is an alternative to a traditional take-make-dispose linear economy. A circular economy aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times. The value is maintained or extracted though the extension of product lifetimes by reuse, refurbishment, and remanufacturing as well as the closing of resource cycles—through recycling and related strategies.

As the concept of the circular economy has gained traction in business, governments and NGOs, there is a need to grapple with the inevitable complexity and trade-offs involved in an emerging framework. This special examines environmental, resource, engineering, managerial, design, and policy dimensions of the circular economy. Articles on the following subject are available here:

  • Circular economy strategies and hazardous materials
  • The introduction of the concept among the S&P 500
  • The possibility of running the economy on recycled materials
  • Current levels of circularity in the economy and recycling systems
  • Circular product design
  • Performance indicators for circularity
  • Rebound effects of circularity
  • Industrial symbiosis in the circular economy
  • Circularity in the built environment
  • Circular strategies for lithium-ion batteries, tantalum (coltan) and beverage packaging
  • Social dimensions of a circular economy
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