The definition of a circular economy is ‘unclear and lacks substance’, according to a team of researchers from Lancaster University Management School, Lund University and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.

In a new study, published in Journal of Industrial Ecology, researchers say the circular economy risks becoming ‘counterproductive’, unless we stop referring to it as a ‘panacea for all kinds of environmental problems’.

While a circular economy has become a well-known and recognised model among businesses, regions, cities and NGOs worldwide – from China and Latin America to the EU and the USA – what is less discussed is that the model has received a great deal of criticism from both practitioners and researchers, the researchers say.

Academics from Lancaster University Management School, Lund University and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden compiled their criticisms in the new study, finding that the concept of a circular economy is ‘so diffuse and sprawling’ that it is not possible to measure its impact – it includes everything from recycling systems, renting, replacing products with services, to developing apps for the sharing economy, etc.

Read in full at Circular

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