Circular Economy: An Inevitability Issue for the Sustainable Human Civilization


  • Haradhan Kumar Mohajan Premier University, Chittagong, Bangladesh.


Circular economy, Economic growth, Recycling, Reuse, Reduction, Sustainable development, SWOT analysis.


 Since start of the Industrial Revolution about 260 years ago, the negative effects from the traditional linear economy (LE) become threat to the stability of the economies and natural ecosystems. Strength of climate change, reduction of environment pollution and integrity of ecosystems are essential issues for survival of the global humanity. According to LE resources for production are easily available and unlimited, and after use wastes are disposable. The circular economy (CE) is an alternative to the LE where the resources may be used for as long as possible. It tries to capture the value of existing products and materials, and decreases the use of primary materials in industries. The CE is a part of environmental economics and beneficial to the society. It keeps products, components, and materials at their highest utility and maximum value at all times. At present CE is one of the most focused terms among environmental economic scientists. The aim of this study is the implementation of the sustainable development strategies and the transition from LE towards CE.

Author Biography

Haradhan Kumar Mohajan, Premier University, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Premier University, Chittagong, Bangladesh.


Accenture Strategy (2015). Circular Advantage: An ASEAN Perspective–Innovative Business Models and Technologies to Create Value without Limits to Growth. Accenture Strategy.

Agrawal, S., Singh, R. K., & Murtaza, Q. (2015). A Literature Review and Perspectives in Reverse Logistics. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 97, 76–92.

Alaerts, L., Acker, K. V., Rousseau, S., Jaeger, S. D., Moraga, G., Dewulf, J., Meester, S. D., Passel, S. V., Compernolle, T., Bachus, K., Vrancken, K., & Eyckmans, J. (2019). Towards a More Direct Policy Feedback in Circular Economy Monitoring Via a Societal Needs Perspective. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 149, 363–371.

Andersen, M. S. (1999). Governance by Green Taxes: Implementing Clean Water Policies in Europe 1970–1990. Environmental Economy Policy Studies, 2(1), 39–63.

Andersen, M. S. (2007). An Introductory Note on the Environmental Economics of the Circular Economy. Sustainable Science, 2(1), 133–140.

Alexandru, I.-E., & Taşnadi, A. (2014). From Circular Economy to Blue Economy, Management Strategies Journal, 26(4), 197–203.

Baechler, C., DeVuono, M., & Pearce J. M. (2013). Distributed Recycling of Waste Polymer into RepRap Feedstock. Rapid Prototyping Journal, 19(2), 118–125.

Barra, R., & Leonard, S. A. (2018). Plastics and the Circular Economy: A STAP Document. Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN Environment.

Benton, D., & Hazell, J. (2013). Resource Resilient United Kingdom, a Report from the Circular Economy Task Force. London: Green Alliance.

Benyus, J. M. (1997). Biomimicry. New York, NY: William Morrow.

Berg, A., Antikainen, R., Hartikainen, E., Kauppi, S., Kautto, P., Lazarevic, D., Piesik, S., & Saikku, L. (2018). Circular Economy for Sustainable Development. Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute, 26|2018.

Betchel, N., Bojko, R., & Volkel, R. (2013). Be in the Loop: Circular Economy & Strategic Sustainable Development. Master’s Degree Thesis, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.

Bhattacharjee, S., & Cruz, J. (2015). Economic Sustainability of Closed Loop Supply Chains: A Holistic Model for Decision and Policy Analysis. Decision Support Systems, 77, 67–86.

Birat, J.-P. (2015). Life Cycle Assessment, Resource Efficiency and Recycling. Metallurgical Research & Technology, 112 (206), 1–24.

Bjorn, A., & Strandesen, M. (2011). The Cradle to Cradle Concept: Is it always Sustainable? Poster Session Presented at the Life Cycle Management (LCM) Conference, Towards Life Cycle Sustainability Management, Berlin, Germany.

Boulding, K. E. (1966). The Economy of the Coming Spaceship Earth. In H. Jarrett (Ed.), pp. 3–14. Environmental Quality Issues in a Growing Economy: Essays from the Sixth RFF Forum. Baltimore MD: John Hopkins University Press.

Braungart, M., McDonough, W., & Clinton, P. B. (2014). The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability-Designing for Abundance. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Castellani, V., Sala, S., & Mirabella, N. (2015). Beyond the Throwaway Society: A Life Cycle-Based Assessment of the Environmental Benefit of Reuse. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 11(3), 373–382.

CCICED (2008). Circular Economy Promotion Law of the People’s Republic of China.

CEPS (2018). The Role of Business in the Circular Economy Markets: Processes and Enabling Policies. Report of a CEPS Task Force. The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels.

Charonis, G. (2012). Degrowth, Steady State Economics and the Circular Economy: Three Distinct yet Increasingly Converging Alternative Discourses to Economic Growth for Achieving Environmental Sustainability and Social Equity. In World Economic Association Sustainability Conference 2012.

Chartered Institution of Waste Management (2014). The Circular Economy: What Does it Mean for the Waste and Resource Management Sector? Northampton, UK: CIWM.

Chertow, M. R. (2000). Industrial Symbiosis: Literature and Taxonomy. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 25, 313–337.

Cholifihani, M. (2018). Mitigating the Adverse Impacts of the Circular Economy: Implementation and Role of Governments. In Venkatachalam Anbumozhi and F. Kimura (Eds.), Industry 4.0: Empowering ASEAN for the Circular Economy, pp. 261–283, Jakarta: ERIA.

Circle Economy (2019). The Circular Gap Report 2019: Closing the Circularity Gap in a 9% World. The Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE). The Global Environment Facility and UN Environment. The World Economic Forum.

Commoner, B. (1971). The Closing Circle: Nature, Man, and Technology. Random House, New York.

Cullen, J. M. (2017). Circular Economy: Theoretical Benchmark or Perpetual Motion Machine? Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 483–486.

Cullen, J. M., Allwood, J. M., & Bambach, M. D. (2012). Mapping the Global Flow of Steel: from Steel Making to End-Use Goods. Environmental Science & Technology, 46(24), 13048–13055.

Cutaia, L., & Morabito, R. (2012). Ruolo Della Simbiosi Industriale Per la Green Economy. Energia, Ambiente e Innovazione.

de Man, R., & Friege, H. (2016). Circular Economy: European Policy on Shaky Ground. Waste Management & Research, 34(2), 93–95.

de Wit, M., Hoogzaad, J., Ramkumar, S., Friedl, H., & Douma, A. (2018). The Circularity Gap Report–An Analysis of the Circular State of the Global Economy. Circle Economy.

European Commission (EC) (2010). Green Public Procurement. European Union, France.

EC (2011). Commission Staff Working Paper: Analysis Associated with the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, Part II.

EC (2014). Moving towards a Circular Economy.

EC (2015). Circular Economy Package: Questions & Answers: MEMO/15/6204.

EEA (2016). Report/ No. 2/2016: Circular Economy in Europe–Developing the Knowledge Base. Luxembourg: European Environmental Agency.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) (2012). Towards the Circular Economy: Economic and Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition. Volume 1, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Isle of Wight.

EMF (2013). Towards the Circular Economy: Opportunities for the Consumer Goods Sector. Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Isle of Wight.

EMF (2014). Towards the Circular Economy: Economic and Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition. World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland.

EMF (2016). Circularity Indicators. World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland.

EMF and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment (2015). Growth within: A Circular Economy Vision for a Competitive Europe. Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment: Isle of Wight. oundation_Growth-Within_July15.pdf

Erkman, S. (1997). Industrial Ecology: An Historical View. Journal of Cleaner Production, 5(1–2), 1–10.

Erkman, S. (2001). Industrial Ecology: A New Perspective on the Future of the Industrial System. Swiss Medical Weekly, 131(37-38), 531–538.

EU (2008). Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on Waste and Repealing Certain Directives. Official Journal of EU, L(312), 3–30.

EU (2013). Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on a General Union Environment Programme to 2020. Living Well Within the Limits of Our Planet.

EU-ASIA (2014). Eco-Cities. Sharing European and Asian Best Practices and Experiences.

Frosch, R. A., & Gallopoulos, N. E. (1989). Strategies for Manufacturing. Scientific American, 261(3), 144–152.

Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., Bocken, N. M. P., & Hultink, E. J. (2017). The Circular Economy: A New Sustainability Paradigm? Journal of Cleaner Production, 143, 757–768.

Ghisellini, P., Cialani, C., & Ulgiati, S. (2016). A Review on Circular Economy: The Expected Transition to a Balanced Interplay of Environmental and Economic Systems, Journal of Cleaner Production, 114, 11–32.

Geisendorf, S., & Pietrulla, F. (2018). The Circular Economy and Circular Economic Concepts: A Literature Analysis and Redefinition. Thunderbird International Business Review, 60(5), 771–782.

Geng, Y. Z., Xue, B., Dong, H., Fujita, T., & Chiu, A. (2014). Emergy-based Assessment on Industrial Symbiosis: A Case Study on Shenyang Economic and Technological Development Zone. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 21(23), 13572–13587.

Genovese, A., Acquaye, A., Figueroa, A., & Koh, S. (2017). Sustainable Supply Chain Management and the Transition towards a Circular Economy: Evidence and Some Applications. Omega, 66, 344–357.

Gopal, N. M., Phebe, P., Kumar, E. V. S., & Vani, B. K. K. (2014). National Seminar on Impact of Toxic Metals, Minerals and Solvents Leading to Environmental Pollution. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 3, 96–99.

Gu, L., & Togay, O. (2016). Use of Recycled Plastics in Concrete: A Critical Review. Waste Management, 51, 19–42.

Hawken, P., Lovins, A., & Lovins, L. H. (2000). Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. US Green Building Council: Washington, DC, USA.

He, P., Lü, F., Zhang, H., & Shao, L. (2013). Recent Developments in the Area of Waste as a Resource, with Particular Reference to the Circular Economy as a Guiding Principle, in Waste as a Resource 2013. In R. E. Hester & R. M. Harrison (Eds.), Issues in Environmental Science and Technology No. 37. The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Heshmati, A. (2015). A Review of the Circular Economy and Its Implementation. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9611, Sogang University and The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Germany.

Humphrey, A. (2005). SWOT Analysis for Management Consulting. SRI Alumni Association Newsletters, 1, 7–8.

IES (2015). The Circular Economy in Japan.

IPCC (2014). Summary for Policymakers. In Climate Change 2014, Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva, Switzerland.

Iung, B., & Levrat, E. (2014). Advanced Maintenance Services for Promoting Sustainability. Procedia CIRP, 22, 15–22.

Jewell, C. (2015). Action Agenda for a Circular Economy Released at World Resource Forum.

Kay, T. (1994). Salvo in Germany-Reiner Pilz, p14 SalvoNEWS No. 99, 11 October 1994.

Kirchherr, J., Reike, D., & Hekkert, M. (2017). Conceptualizing the Circular Economy: An Analysis of 114 Definitions. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 127, 221–232.

Kuehr, R. (2012). Global e-waste Initiatives. In V. Goodship & A. Stevels (Eds.), Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Handbook No. 30, in Woodhead Publishing Series in Electronic and Optical Materials, pp. 3–16. Woodhead Publishing Ltd.

Legesse, B. (2014). Research Methods in Agribusiness and Value Chains. School of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Haramaya University.

Lieder, M., & Rashid, A. (2016). Towards Circular Economy Implementation: A Comprehensive Review in Context of Manufacturing Industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 115, 36–51.

Llanwarne, A. (2016). The Circular Economy: implications for the Environmental Movement. Report for Scottish Environment LINK.

Lombardi, D. R., & Laybourn, P. (2012). Redefining Industrial Symbiosis. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 16(1), 28–37.

Lowe, E., Moran, S., & Holmes, D. (1995). A Fieldbook for the Development of Ecoindustrial Parks. Report for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Indigo Development International, Oakland (CA).

Lyle, J. T. (1994). Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development. John Wiley & Sons, New York; Chichester.

Marion, A. (2012). Chinese Eco-Cities: The Implementation of a New Economic Model?

Mathews, J. A., & Tan, H. (2011). Progress towards a Circular Economy: The Drivers and Inhibitors of Eco-Industrial Initiative. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 15, 435–457.

McDonough, W., & Braungart, M. (2002). Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point Press.

Merli, R., Preziosi, M., & Acampora, A. (2017). How Do Scholars Approach the Circular Economy? A Systematic Literature Review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 178, 703–722.

Mirabella, N., Castellani, V., & Sala, S. (2014). Current Options for the Valorization of Food Manufacturing Waste: A Review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 28–41.

Mohajan, H. K. (2015). Planetary Boundaries Must not be Crossed for the Survival of Humanity. Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques, 3(4), 184–200.

Mohajan, H. K. (2019a). Knowledge Sharing among Employees in Organizations. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 8(1), 52-61.

Mohajan, H. K. (2019b). The First Industrial Revolution: Creation of a New Global Human Era. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 5(4), 377–387.

Mohajan, H. K. (2020). The Second Industrial Revolution has Brought Modern Social and Economic Developments. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 6(1), 1–14.

Murray, A., Skene, K., & Haynes, K. (2015). The Circular Economy: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Concept and Application in a Global Context. Journal of Business Ethics, 140(3), 369–380.

Natural Scotland (2013). Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources: Blueprint for a More Resource Efficient and Circular Economy. Produced for the Scottish Government by APS Group, Scotland.

Naustdalslid, J. (2014). Circular Economy in China: The Environmental Dimension of the Harmonious Society. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 21(4), 303–313.

Ness, D. (2008). Sustainable Urban Infrastructure in China: Towards a Factor 10 Improvement in Resource Productivity through Integrated Infrastructure System. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 15, 288–301.

Park, J. J., & Chertow, M. (2014). Establishing and Testing the “Reuse Potential” Indicator for Managing Waste as Resources. Journal of Environmental Management, 137, 45–53.

Park, J. J., Sarkis, J., & Wu, Z. (2010). Creating Integrated Business and Environmental Value within the Context of China’s Circular Economy and Ecological Modernization. Journal of Cleaner Production, 18, 1494–1501.

Pauli, G. A. (2010). The Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs. Taos NM, Paradigm Publications.

Pearce, D. W., & Turner, R. K. (1989). Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment. Hemel Hempstead, Harvester Wheatsheaf, London.

Pesce, M., Tamai, I., Guo, D., Crittol, A., Brombal, D., Wang, X., Cheng, H., & Marcomini, A. (2020). Circular Economy in China: Translating Principles into Practice. Sustainability, 12(832), 1–31.

Pires, A., Martinho, G., Rodrigues, S., & Gomes, M. A. (2019). Sustainable Solid Waste Collection and Management. Springer, Switzerland AG.

Plastic Europe (2016). Plastics–The Facts 2016: An Analysis of European Plastics Production, Demand and Waste Data. Association of Plastics Manufacturers.

Preston, F. (2012). A Global Redesign? Shaping the Circular Economy. Energy, Environment and Resource Governance, 2, 1–20.,%20Environment%20and%20Development/bp0312_preston.pdf

Redlich, T., & Moritz, M. (2016). Bottom-up Economics. Foundations of a Theory of Distributed and Open Value. In Jan-Peter Ferdinand, Ulrich Petschow, & Sascha Dickel (Eds.). The Decentralized and Networked Future of Value Creation: 3D Printing and its Implications for Society, pp. 27–57, Industry, and Sustainable Development, Springer.

Reh, L. (2013). Process Engineering in Circular Economy. Particuology, 11, 119–133.

Remenyi, D. S. J., Swartz, E., Money, A., & Williams, B. (1998). Doing Research in Business and Management: An Introduction to Process and Method. SAGE Publications, London.

Rizos, V., Tuokko, K., & Behrens, A. (2017). The Circular Economy: A Review of Definitions, Processes and Impacts. CEPS Research Report No. 2017/08, CEPS, Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies.

Rossi, M., Germani, M., & Zamagni, A. (2016). Review of Eco-design Methods and Tools: Barriers and Strategies for an Effective Implementation in Industrial Companies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 129, 361–373.

Sariatli, F. (2017). Linear Economy versus Circular Economy: A Comparative and Analyzer Study for Optimization of Economy for Sustainability. Visegrad Journal on Bioeconomy and Sustainable Development, 6(1), 31–34.

Schwab, K. (Ed.) (2019). The Global Competitiveness Report. World Economic Forum. Geneva, Switzerland.

Senge, P. M., Smith, B., Kruschwitz, N., Laur, J., & Schley, S. (2010). The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World. Broadway Books, The Crown Publishing Group.

Shen, L., Haufe, J., & Patel, M. K. (2009). Product Overview and Market Projection of Emerging Bio-Based Plastics PRO-BIP 2009. Report for European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence (EPNOE) and European Bioplastics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

Sitra (2016). Leading the Cycle: Finnish Road Map to a Circular Economy 2016–2025.

Stahel, W. R. (2010). The Performance Economy (2nd Ed.). Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, New York.

Stahel, W. R., & Reday, G. (1976). The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy. Research Contract No. 76/l3-V/343/78-EN, Programme of Research and Actions on the Development of the Labour Market. Report to the Commission of the European Communities.

Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S. E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E., Biggs, R., Carpenter, S. R., de Vries, W., de Wit, C. A., Folke, C., Gerten, D., Heinke, J., Mace, G. M., Persson, L. M., Ramanathan, V., Reyers, B., & Sörlin, S. (2015). Planetary Boundaries: Guiding Human Development on a Changing Planet, Science, 347(6223): 1–17.

STEP Initiative (2014). Solving the e-Waste Problem (STEP). White Paper, One Global Definition of e-Waste. Bonn: STEP Initiative.

Su, B., Heshmati, A., Geng, Y., & Yu, X. (2013). A Review of the Circular Economy in China: Moving from Rethoric to Implementation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 42, 215–227.

Sung, K., Cooper, T., & Kettley, S. (2014). Individual Upcycling Practice: Exploring the Possible Determinants of Upcycling Based on a Literature Review. Sustainable Innovation 2014 Conference. Copenhagen.

Tansel, B., & Yildiz, B. S. (2011). Goal-based Waste Management Strategy to Reduce Persistence of Contaminants in Leachate at Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 13(5), 821–831.

van Berkel, R., Fujita, T., Hashimoto, S., & Geng, Y. (2009). Industrial and Urban Symbiosis in Japan: Analysis of the Eco-Town Program 1997-2006. Journal of Environmental Management, 90(3), 1544–1556.

van Ewijk, S. (2018). Resource Efficiency and the Circular Economy: Concepts, Economic Benefits, Barriers, and Policies. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, London’s Global University.

Whalen, K. A., Berlin, C., Ekberg, J., Barletta, I., & Hammersberg, P. (2018). ‘All They Do is Win’: Lessons Learned from Use of a Serious Game for Circular Economy Education. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 135, 335–345.

White, A. (1994). The Greening of Industrial Ecosystems, National Academy of Engineers. In B. R. Allenby & D. J. Richards (Eds.), National Academy Press, Washington, DC.

WHO (2018). Circular Economy and Health: Opportunities and Risks. World Health Organization.

World Economic Forum (2018). Circular Economy in Cities: Evolving the Model for a Sustainable Urban Future. World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland.

Wrinkler, H. (2011). Closed-loop Production Systems–A Sustainable Supply Chain Approach. CIRP Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology, 4(3), 243–246.

Wysokinska, Z. (2016). The “New” Environmental Policy of the European Union: A Path to Development of a Circular Economy and Mitigation of the Negative Effects of Climate Change. Comparative Economic Research, 19(2), 57–73.

Yuan, Z. W., Bi, J. & Moriguichi, Y. (2006). The Circular Ecology: A New Development Strategy in China. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 10(1–2), 4–8.

Zang, H. M. (2006). The Research on Theory of Governance and Application in the Circular Economy of Urban. PhD Dissertation, Tongji University, China.

Zhong, S., & Pearce, J. (2018). Tightening the Loop on the Circular Economy: Coupled Distributed Recycling and Manufacturing with Recyclebot and RepRap 3-D Printing. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 128, 48–58.

Zhuo, C., & Levendis, Y. A. (2013). Upcycling Waste Plastics into Carbon Nanomaterials: A Review. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 131(4), 1–14.




How to Cite

Mohajan, H. K. (2020). Circular Economy: An Inevitability Issue for the Sustainable Human Civilization. Annals of Spiru Haret University. Economic Series, 20(3), 23–54. Retrieved from