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Topical Collection "Circular Economy Approaches for Lifecycles of Products and Services"

A topical collection in Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This collection belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

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Editors

Advanced Design and Manufacturing Engineering Centre, School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
Interests: circular economy; sustainable technology; sustainable production and consumption; sustainable design and manufacture

E-Mail Website
Co-Collection Editor
Advanced Design and Manufacturing Engineering Centre, School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
Interests: sustainability; ICT; internet of things; sustainable production and consumption; industrial engineering; control

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

There has been an increasing demand to implement circular economy approaches in the development of products and services through product life cycle. To facilitate implementation, sustainability technologies play important roles covering environmental, social and economic perspectives. To meet the demand, the project “a circular economy approach for lifecycles of products and services (CIRC4Life)” http://www.circ4life.eu has been in operation since May 2018 and will conclude at the end of October 2021 with total project budget 7.3 million euros. The CIRC4Life project is supported by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, which involves 17 international teams.

The CIRC4Life project develops three circular economy business models (CEBMs): the co-creation of products and services, sustainable consumption, and collaborative recycling/reuse. The CEBMs are demonstrated in four industrial sectors: LED lighting products, vegetable farming, meat supply chain and bio-waste recycling, and computer tablet recycling and reuse. The CEBMs and demonstrators are supported by various sustainability technologies, including information and communication technology (ICT), traceability, environmental and social life cycle assessments, sustainable design and manufacture, eco-accounting, eco-shopping and eco-incentives, decision-making tools, online data mining, living lab approaches, and more, which can be found on the project Website mentioned above.  

In order to further develop and implement circular economy approaches and sustainability, to share the CIRC4Life project achievements and to promote the research outcome in the research areas, this Topical Collection calls for papers focused on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  •  Circular economy and sustainability methods/technologies 
    • Circular economy approaches for products and services;
    • Circular economy business models;
    • Sustainability technologies and their industrial application;
    • Sustainability and circular economy through product life cycle;
    • Methodologies for environmentally friendly product development;
    • Environmental life cycle assessment. Social life cycle assessment. Three bottom lines of sustainability; 
    • Product environmental footprint, environmental product declaration, product carbon footprint, life cycle analysis methods, lifecycle inventory data;
    • Eco-labelling and environmental labelling.
  • Circular economy and sustainability implementation 
    • Sustainable production and consumption;
    • Eco-design and eco-manufacture;
    • Product supply chain/value chain with sustainability;
    • Methods and applications of Eco-accounting, eco-cost, eco-credit, eco-shopping and eco-incentives;
    • Climate change resilience, and green-house gas emission adaptation and mitigation; 
    • Sustainable built and environment;
    • Low carbon emission buildings and sustainable construction;
    • Renewable energy; 
    • End-of-life product treatment. Remanufacture, recycle and reuse. WEEE treatment. Bio-waste treatment; 
    • Sustainable product services, leasing services, product maintenance;
    • Sustainable technology for vegetable farming and the meat supply chain; 
    • Co-creation and living labs for circular economy.
  • Development and support for circular economy and sustainability
    • Traceability, control, condition monitoring and related technologies for circular economy and sustainability;
    • Sustainability and circular economy supported by ICT technologies such as smart computing, internet of things, mobile technology, big data, cloud computing, internet technology, blockchain, etc;
    • ICT infrastructure for sustainability; 
    • Online data mining consumer preferences from e-commerce websites; 
    • Green computing; 
    • Decision-making systems for sustainability; 
    • Policy alignment for circular economy and sustainability; 
    • Education and training for circular economy and sustainability;
    • Public awareness of circular economy and sustainability;
    • Literature review for circular economy and sustainability; 
    • Other issues/fields related to circular economy and sustainability.

Prof. Dr. Daizhong Su
Dr. Wenjie Peng
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • circular economy
  • sustainability
  • sustainable technology
  • product life cycle
  • products and services
  • sustainable production and consumption
  • information and communication technology (ICT)
  • computing
  • traceability
  • policy
  • recycle
  • reuse
  • re-manufacture

Published Papers (15 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

Article
The Dark Side of Green Marketing: How Greenwashing Affects Circular Consumption?
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11649; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511649 - 28 Jul 2023
Viewed by 793
Abstract
Nowadays, we are witnessing the growth of the production and consumption of circular products. However, greenwashing is a marketing practice of presenting products as environmentally responsible without actually being so. This practice can influence consumer perceptions and attitudes toward the consumption of circular [...] Read more.
Nowadays, we are witnessing the growth of the production and consumption of circular products. However, greenwashing is a marketing practice of presenting products as environmentally responsible without actually being so. This practice can influence consumer perceptions and attitudes toward the consumption of circular products. This study aims to explore the influence of companies’ greenwashing behaviors on the intention of circular consumption when mediated by environmental concerns and pro-circular information seeking by consumers. To this end, a sample of 826 valid responses from Portuguese consumers was collected. A quantitative methodology was used and the Partial Least Square method was applied. Our study found that greenwashing positively affects consumers’ environmental concerns and their propensity to seek sustainable information. These factors, in turn, positively impact their intentions toward circular consumption. The findings challenge the traditionally negative perception of greenwashing, suggesting its paradoxical contribution to promoting sustainability. The study provides valuable insights into consumer behavior related to sustainability and has practical implications for companies and policymakers in shaping effective circular economy strategies. Full article
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Article
A Hybrid Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to Explore Barriers to the Circular Economy Implementation in the Food Supply Chain
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9506; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129506 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 563
Abstract
This research aims to identify, categorize, and prioritize the barriers hindering the implementation of the circular economy (CE) within food supply chains. To do so, a hybrid multi-criteria decision analysis method, combining a decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and the analytical network [...] Read more.
This research aims to identify, categorize, and prioritize the barriers hindering the implementation of the circular economy (CE) within food supply chains. To do so, a hybrid multi-criteria decision analysis method, combining a decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and the analytical network process (ANP), is used to analyze multiple determinants extracted from the target literature and the expert panel opinions. As a result, the key barriers to implementing the CE in the food sector were identified and ranked through the hybrid multi-criteria decision analysis. The practicality and validity of the model in the case of causal relationships that have hindered the CE transition in the food sector in Iran, as a developing country, are examined. A total of 15 barriers in six dimensions were analyzed. The “technical and technological capabilities”, “financial issues”, and “production issues” were distinguished as the most important dimensions. Moreover, “lack of circular design and innovative packaging to reduce food waste”, “high cost of CE implementation”, and “insufficient use of reusable, recyclable, and recoverable materials” were identified as the key barriers in the CE transition in food supply chains. The findings of this study revealed that “government policies”, “culture”, and “financial issues” were the most significant “cause” dimensions, which could leverage the elimination of “effect” dimensions, including “technical and technological capabilities”, “management and collaboration issues”, and “production issues”. The identified challenges and barriers pave the way for CE implementation and outline focal points for decision makers to mobilize their efforts in this regard. The findings can effectively contribute to the domain by providing insightful guidelines for the government and associated authorities, policymakers, and all stakeholders within the food supply chain to support the CE transition in the food sector. Full article
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Article
Analysing the Social Acceptance of Bio-Based Products Made from Recycled Absorbent Hygiene Products in Europe
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3008; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043008 - 07 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1122
Abstract
The acceptance of bio-based products by consumers is one of the fundamental pillars to achieve the integration of a circular economy model in society. This article analyses the results obtained in a large-scale survey on the social acceptance of bio-based products, especially those [...] Read more.
The acceptance of bio-based products by consumers is one of the fundamental pillars to achieve the integration of a circular economy model in society. This article analyses the results obtained in a large-scale survey on the social acceptance of bio-based products, especially those obtained from Absorbent Hygiene Products, where a statistical analysis of the data collected is performed to establish rules of thumb and conclusions on the factors considered most significant for consumers in their purchasing decisions. The study was carried out in four European countries, and the sample population covered different age ranges, genders and economic statuses. The main findings are that the most critical factors relate to price, quality and ease of use, but other factors, such as environmental benefits, composition and origin of materials, also affect bio-based products. In addition, this study concludes that most people do not understand some important aspects related to bio-based products, and product information and communication channels need to be improved. Therefore, purchasing strategies for bio-based products should focus on addressing these shortcomings, making the decision to buy bio-based products a quick and easy action. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

Article
Sustainable Manufacturing through Systematic Reduction in Cycle Time
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16473; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416473 - 09 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1561
Abstract
The lean manufacturing strategy is used to eliminate waste, improve quality, reduce time and costs, and enhance operational efficiency. This paper explores the method of systematic cycle time reduction for sustainability (environmental, social, and economic) through the lens of the theory of constraints. [...] Read more.
The lean manufacturing strategy is used to eliminate waste, improve quality, reduce time and costs, and enhance operational efficiency. This paper explores the method of systematic cycle time reduction for sustainability (environmental, social, and economic) through the lens of the theory of constraints. This paper uses a case study method in support of a developed method of systematic cycle time reduction. The findings suggest that reduction in cycle time results in improved sustainability performance. Results also demonstrate that sustainability performance can be improved with low investment and without compromising working conditions of any manufacturing operation. Full article
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Article
An Empirical Study of Situational Teaching: Agricultural Location in High School Geography
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8676; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148676 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2042
Abstract
In China’s most recent round of curriculum reform, the “one situation to the end” (OSTE) situational teaching method has been successfully introduced in geography classes to improve students’ ability to solve problems in real-life situations. Taking an agricultural location course as an example, [...] Read more.
In China’s most recent round of curriculum reform, the “one situation to the end” (OSTE) situational teaching method has been successfully introduced in geography classes to improve students’ ability to solve problems in real-life situations. Taking an agricultural location course as an example, this study analyzes the implementation of situational teaching and discusses the effect of the OSTE method on the topic of sustainable development in the teaching of geography. Using a quasi-experimental design and by distributing a questionnaire to teachers in a Chinese high school, the following findings were obtained: (1) almost all teachers use some form of situational teaching, and the OSTE method has been widely used; (2) OSTE contributes to students’ awareness of sustainable and circular development, but it is not associated with an improvement in geographical skills; and (3) students are mostly interested in the promotion of higher-order thinking, a positive emotional experience, active learning, and the acquisition of systematic knowledge instead of fragmented knowledge. In short, OSTE is an efficient teaching method for geography classes, especially given how it fosters students’ sustainable development ideas. We suggest enriching the understanding of OSTE through teaching-training, jointly developed situations using students’ existing experiences, and well-designed question chains with more opportunities for interaction. Full article
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Review
Sustainable Product Innovation and Consumer Communication
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8395; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148395 - 08 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
Sustainable product innovation and its communication with consumers are essential for the realisation of sustainability through sustainable consumption. This research conducted a structured review addressing sustainable product innovation, including sustainable product development and service, environmental and socio-economic impacts, communication of the sustainable product [...] Read more.
Sustainable product innovation and its communication with consumers are essential for the realisation of sustainability through sustainable consumption. This research conducted a structured review addressing sustainable product innovation, including sustainable product development and service, environmental and socio-economic impacts, communication of the sustainable product innovation to consumers via ecolabelling and declarations, and sustainability benchmarking. The review revealed that current research in sustainable product development and service focuses more on environmental and economic aspects, but the social aspect has not been given enough attention, and the interconnection between product development and service needs to be further addressed. Systematic sustainable innovation, considering the whole life cycle of the product to control and improve overall sustainability in the early product development stages should be paid more attention. To overcome the gaps, a framework for sustainable product development and services (SPDS) was developed and presented. Furthermore, this review found that communicating understandable environmental and socio-economic performance of products and services with consumers is still challenging. Barriers are identified in deriving benchmarks through sustainability performance assessments. This paper also provides examples of overcoming the barriers in sustainable benchmarking and communication with the “eco-cost” method, which engages both B2B and B2C customers to promote sustainable consumption. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Design Strategy of Cosmetic Packaging in China Based on Life Cycle Assessment
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8155; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138155 - 04 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2697
Abstract
Consumptions of cosmetics present a steady growth trend from 2018 to 2021 in China. While environmental impact generated are becoming prominent issues. Numbers of research on the sustainability of cosmetics are focusing on ingredient choices and production; however, the packaging generates more impact [...] Read more.
Consumptions of cosmetics present a steady growth trend from 2018 to 2021 in China. While environmental impact generated are becoming prominent issues. Numbers of research on the sustainability of cosmetics are focusing on ingredient choices and production; however, the packaging generates more impact than the ingredient extraction in some specific scenarios, and it should be paid more attention to. The role of packaging deserves deep consideration under the background of a circular economy. This research aims to: (i) figure out the impact hotspot through life cycle assessment (LCA) of representative cosmetic packaging in the Chinese market, (ii) conduct a series of sensitivity analyses to figure out to what extent these potential scenarios influence the environmental performance of the packaging, (iii) obtain the significance of these variables to the sustainable design of the packaging. Finally, a set of sustainable design strategies for cosmetic packaging are proposed for the designer from the aspect of facilitating user reuse and recycling behaviour, material selection, and others. Full article
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Article
Novel ICT System for Recycling and Eco-Shopping
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7687; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137687 - 23 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1367
Abstract
Recently, there has been a growing effort to reduce the environmental impact of products throughout their life cycle, particularly during the end-of-life (EoL) stage. To incentivise consumers’ recycling/reusing behaviours and enhance their environmental awareness, a novel ICT-based system for recycling and eco-shopping has [...] Read more.
Recently, there has been a growing effort to reduce the environmental impact of products throughout their life cycle, particularly during the end-of-life (EoL) stage. To incentivise consumers’ recycling/reusing behaviours and enhance their environmental awareness, a novel ICT-based system for recycling and eco-shopping has been developed in this paper. The recycling of EoL products is conducted based on information-communication technologies to remotely monitor and manage the recycled products (such as electronics or household bio-wastes), enabling consumers’ recycling process over the Internet. Consumers are awarded the eco-credits, which can be used for various forms of eco-incentives, such as shopping discounts, tree planting donations, and exchanges for theatre and museum tickets. The eco-costs reflect the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle. The consumer is informed about the eco-costs through eco-shopping, which are displayed on a payment receipt. Both eco-costs and eco-credits are recorded in the consumer’s eco-account. To develop the recycling and eco-shopping system, multiple information-communication technologies are utilised, such as hardware digital monitoring/control, Internet-based communication services, traceability media (bar-code and QR code), user identity recognition and privacy protection, and multi-language supports. A case study is conducted, including online tracking of the recycling process and then implementing incentive activities with the eco-credits and eco-costs. The system has been successfully validated via illustrating recycling, eco-shopping, and eco-incentives in public places (e.g., schools, urban cultural centres), as well as promoting the consumer’s participation in recycling and enhancing their environmental awareness, which proved the successful implementation of the novel contribution of this research. Full article
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Article
About the Importance of Planning the Location of Recycling Stations in the Urban Context
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7613; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137613 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
Recycling is essential to the circular economy and reduces the environmental impact of our consumption. Creating conditions for recycling in new residential areas is relatively easy but finding good recycling opportunities in existing residential areas is more complicated. The recycling of newspapers, plastic [...] Read more.
Recycling is essential to the circular economy and reduces the environmental impact of our consumption. Creating conditions for recycling in new residential areas is relatively easy but finding good recycling opportunities in existing residential areas is more complicated. The recycling of newspapers, plastic and glass must be relatively close to where people live; at the same time, the locations must be relatively discreet and not disturb the residents in the area. The purpose of the article is to analyse the effect of small and local recycling stations (RCSs) on the attractiveness of residential areas. This has been made possible by analysing housing values for almost 200,000 housing units near 250 RCSs in Stockholm, Sweden. Using an identification strategy that relies on postal code fixed effects, we find evidence that the proximity to RCS affects housing prices on average in both owner-occupied single-family houses and cooperative owner-occupied apartments (condominiums). The results indicate that proximity to the RCS is negatively capitalised in housing values (the effect amounts to approximately 1.3 percent of the housing values), which indicates that the city should consider this in its planning. Full article
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Article
Challenges for Sustainability in Packaging of Fresh Vegetables in Organic Farming
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5346; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095346 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2544
Abstract
The policy of circular economy focuses on phasing out fossil-based packaging and replacing it with more sustainable alternatives. Companies face the challenge of choosing packaging for their products that are functional and affordable, and place relatively less pressure on the environment. This is [...] Read more.
The policy of circular economy focuses on phasing out fossil-based packaging and replacing it with more sustainable alternatives. Companies face the challenge of choosing packaging for their products that are functional and affordable, and place relatively less pressure on the environment. This is especially important for organic farms that make voluntary commitments to undertake sustainable decisions regarding practices and methods of farming and types of packaging used. This publication attempts to analyze the determinants of the choices of sustainable packaging solutions made by organic farming companies with the example of Scilly Organic, an organic micro farm from the Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom—a producer of organic vegetables. There are many options for fresh vegetable packaging, which include fossil-based packaging, bio-based packaging, and packaging manufactured from material that is a mixture of synthetic, natural, or modified polymers. Biodegradable packaging, including compostable ones, is currently of particular interest because, when separated and disposed of in the correct manner in the waste management phase, they have sustainability potential. Biodegradable plastics constitute over 55.5% of global bioplastics production. Packaging is the largest market segment for bioplastic, with 48% of the total bioplastics market in 2021. Although the use of biobased packaging brings some advantages, it also comes with certain limitations that are the subject of intensive research. In this publication, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool was used and a critical review of the literature was carried out. Based on the analysis, the key factors and aspects influencing the environmental performance of selected types of packaging were identified. The LCA was carried out for the three selected packaging types, including low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags, polylactic acid (PLA) bags, and polyester starch biopolymer (PCSB) bags. The research showed that the selection of more sustainable packaging is not straightforward. The analysis performed was the basis for providing recommendations for improving the sustainability of organic farms with regard to the selection of packaging for fresh vegetables. The critical processes in the life cycle that have to be considered are, in the first place, the production of polymer-based materials, and to a lesser extent, the production of the packaging bags and post-consumption waste utilization. In the case of PLA bags, 51% of the total impact is attributed to the production of polymer material. For starch polyester bags, this share is 58%, and for LDPE it constitutes 41% of the total score. At the same time, the choice of packaging should be made in the context of the specific properties of the packaging material, the requirements for disposal methods, and local waste management systems. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022

Article
Social Impact Analysis of Products under a Holistic Approach: A Case Study in the Meat Product Supply Chain
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12163; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112163 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2348
Abstract
Social impact assessment of products can be approached through different methodologies that need to be adapted to the particularities and features of the studied subject. Thus, the Social Life Cycle Assessment methodology can be used to assess different innovative practices of product manufacturing, [...] Read more.
Social impact assessment of products can be approached through different methodologies that need to be adapted to the particularities and features of the studied subject. Thus, the Social Life Cycle Assessment methodology can be used to assess different innovative practices of product manufacturing, under a circular economy approach, by identifying potential positive as well as negative impacts along products’ life cycle. This paper presents the results of the Social Life Cycle Impact Assessment of a reference product from the Spanish meat industry using existing and new innovative methods of social impact analysis. Worker discrimination, health and safety for workers, consumers and local community were identified as the social aspects with relevant significance into the business or for the influence on customer’s perception of the products studied. Therefore, results can represent a reference scenario for the future assessment of innovative solutions in the Spanish meet sector. Despite the scarce use of Social Life Cycle Impact Assessment, this case study is a good example of how this innovative kind of assessment can be helpful for companies to identify their weak and strong social performance areas and design strategies to improve in Social Responsibility Management. Full article
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Article
Use of an Ethanol Bio-Refinery Product as a Soy Bean Alternative in Diets for Fast-Growing Meat Production Species: A Circular Economy Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 11019; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131911019 - 04 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1539
Abstract
The recent conceptual pivot from bioethanol production to ethanol biorefining has led to development of protein derived by fractionating the non-ethanol streams post fermentation within the plant. The aim of this study was to identify the effect of replacing dietary soy with corn-fermented [...] Read more.
The recent conceptual pivot from bioethanol production to ethanol biorefining has led to development of protein derived by fractionating the non-ethanol streams post fermentation within the plant. The aim of this study was to identify the effect of replacing dietary soy with corn-fermented protein (CFP) on performance of fast-growing meat species and the impact on the carbon footprint associated with the feed for each species. The study contains trials on 3 species, broiler, turkey and salmon. In trial one, 324 broiler chicks were allocated randomly to 36 pens distributed into 3 dietary treatments; control (0% CFP), 5% CFP and 10% CFP; for 35 days. In trial 2, 150 turkey poults were allocated to 3 treatments: control (0 CFP), 4% CFP and 8% CFP for 35 days. In trial 3, 525 Atlantic Salmon (starting weight 304 g ± 10.7 g) were raised in 15 saltwater tanks for 84 days with 5 treatments, control (0% CFP), 5% CFP, 10% CFP, 15% CFP and 20% CFP. Growth response, nutrient utilisation and carbon footprint were assessed in each trial. Replacement of soy with CFP showed limited differences in growth response and nutrient utilization but replacing soy bean meal with CFP at rate of 5%, 8% and 10% in broiler, turkey and salmon diets, respectively resulted in a 14% decrease in carbon footprint of diet manufacturing. This investigation shows coupling bioethanol production with poultry and salmon production represents a highly effective circular economy contributing to multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals. Full article
Article
PLM Solutions in the Process of Supporting the Implementation and Maintenance of the Circular Economy Concept in Manufacturing Companies
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10589; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910589 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2513
Abstract
The Circular Economy (CE) is a priority topic for various stakeholders such as politicians, scientists, and industry. However, despite the significant interest in CE, there is still a lack of a framework explaining how manufacturing companies willing to become circular adapt their existing [...] Read more.
The Circular Economy (CE) is a priority topic for various stakeholders such as politicians, scientists, and industry. However, despite the significant interest in CE, there is still a lack of a framework explaining how manufacturing companies willing to become circular adapt their existing business model. The concept of this work is based on the use of Information Technologies such as the well-known and long-proven Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions in the implementation and maintenance of the CE concept to reduce the consumption of primary raw materials, increase employment rates, and reduce environmental damage. This paper aims to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of using the PLM approach to implement the CE concept. The authors selected the most common and effective PLM functionalities and then assessed them to support selected components of the CE concept using qualitative and quantitative methods. The performed assessment and the inter-relation matrix of benefits developed on its basis allowed for pointing out the feature combinations that would bring the best outcome. The conducted study proved that the implemented and properly working PLM solution could simultaneously support CE concepts. PLM functionalities such as (1) product development, (2) transparency, and (3) value-maximizing with the combination of CE functional areas of (1) personalization, (2) made to order, and support turned out to be particularly effective. This study contributes to ensuring an effective and quick process of implementing CE concept in manufacturing companies and moreover opens further research ideas in bringing the Circular Economy to life. Full article
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Article
Experimental Study on the Effect of Fulvic Acid in Waste Slurry on Flocculation and Zeta Potential
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7784; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147784 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
The waste slurry produced by the dredging of urban rivers needs to be dewatered before being reused sustainably. As a large amount of plant debris accumulates in sediment, humus-like substances become one of main components in waste slurry. In light of the lack [...] Read more.
The waste slurry produced by the dredging of urban rivers needs to be dewatered before being reused sustainably. As a large amount of plant debris accumulates in sediment, humus-like substances become one of main components in waste slurry. In light of the lack of research on the effect of fulvic acid (FA) in waste slurry on flocculation and separation, this paper carried out experimental research, including the effect of FA content on flocculation and filtration, as well as flocculation and filtration experiments of eight different sources of waste slurry. The results show that if only the FA content in the slurry is changed, the effect of FA on flocculation and separation is significant when the FA content is 0~3%, but it is not obvious when the FA content exceeds 3%. The flocculation and filtration results of eight different sources of river-dredged waste slurry are obviously different; the D10 increment can differ by nearly 10 times, and the specific resistance to filtration (SRF) differs by 2 orders of magnitude. However, FA is not a sensitive factor affecting the flocculation results. FA mainly affects the results by affecting the zeta potential of the slurry. Therefore, in the dewatering design of waste slurry, only the zeta potential needs to be considered. Full article
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Article
Circular Economy Matchmaking Framework for Future Marketplace Deployment
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105668 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2936
Abstract
Online marketplaces enable cooperation between potential stakeholders by supporting offer and demand identification at the secondary raw material markets. The use of marketplaces facilitates communication between supply chain actors operating within the same or different industry sectors and enables detection of ways to [...] Read more.
Online marketplaces enable cooperation between potential stakeholders by supporting offer and demand identification at the secondary raw material markets. The use of marketplaces facilitates communication between supply chain actors operating within the same or different industry sectors and enables detection of ways to close the loop of their products. This research investigated which criteria to use for the circular cooperation matching of companies in the context of a marketplace. These criteria were used for the development of a circular economy (CE) matchmaking framework based on a multi-level approach and relevance scoring between the users. The multi-level approach is based on the following criteria: (i) the compliance with circular economy principles, (ii) the material flows analysis, (iii) the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport. Based on those aspects a Total Relevance Score (TRS) between the stakeholders is calculated. The Total Relevance Score indicates the possibility for successful circular cooperation between two partners who are willing to close their loops with the best possible match. The logic behind the proposed circular economy matchmaking framework is illustrated by four cases using data collected from companies. Recommendations for further deployment are proposed. The developed framework, by incorporating circular economy principles for the first time within the matching algorithm, provides the opportunity for interested stakeholders for more tailored matching and increases their possibilities of finding a perfect match on the secondary raw materials market in terms of circularity. A similar approach has not yet been reported in the literature. The circular economy matchmaking framework constitutes a theoretical basis of an online marketplace to be developed. Full article
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