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Recycling Perspectives of Circular Business Models: A Review

  • Published on October 28, 2022

The circular business model (CBM) is one of the main building blocks of circular economy (CE), and recycling is one of the main strategies for achieving it. CBM literature is currently evolving, and recycling-oriented discussion has been found in a scattered manner. This review article aims to identify critical components of the recycling-focused business model in CE and evaluate potential business and research opportunities in the area. Data collection was undertaken from the Web of Science (WoS) core collection and ScienceDirect database. Results of the study showed that efficiency of municipal solid waste management, reporting mechanism of recyclers cost of recycled materials, the establishment of a plastic hub, implementation of extended producer responsibility, strategic partnership, incentives, and product design were highlighted as critical requirements for efficient recycling operated business models, especially for waste solar PV panels, e-waste, textile waste, and vehicles and battery sector. It also identified the benefits of using recycled materials in reducing carbon footprint, energy consumption, and achieving low environmental impact. Three-dimensional printing, sensor-based RFID tags, digital twins, additive manufacturing, Industry 4.0, and the Internet of Things (IoT) were found as state-of-the-art technological innovations applied to recycling-oriented circular business models. This article provides critical practical solutions for new business model development and indicates vital future research directions along with a conceptual framework development, which would be helpful for policymakers, business entities, and research academics.

This resource is directly related to the work of the OPN SBC programme. Professor Usha Iyer-Raniga is at the School of Property and Construction Management at RMIT University. Usha is co-leading the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme (SBC), United Nations 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (UN 10FYP SCP) aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 12, as well as the newly formed Integrated Platform for Circular Economy, Climate Resilience, and Energy.  

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