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Assessing circularity interventions: a review of EEIOA-based studies

Glenn A. Aguilar-Hernandez (), Carlos Pablo Sigüenza-Sanchez, Franco Donati, João F. D. Rodrigues and Arnold Tukker
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Glenn A. Aguilar-Hernandez: Leiden University
Carlos Pablo Sigüenza-Sanchez: Leiden University
Franco Donati: Leiden University
João F. D. Rodrigues: Leiden University
Arnold Tukker: Leiden University

Journal of Economic Structures, 2018, vol. 7, issue 1, 1-24

Abstract: Abstract Environmentally extended input–output analysis (EEIOA) can be applied to assess the economic and environmental implications of a transition towards a circular economy. In spite of the existence of several such applications, a systematic assessment of the opportunities and limitations of EEIOA to quantify the impacts of circularity strategies is currently missing. This article brings the current state of EEIOA-based studies for assessing circularity interventions up to date and is organised around four categories: residual waste management, closing supply chains, product lifetime extension, and resource efficiency. Our findings show that residual waste management can be modelled by increasing the amount of waste flows absorbed by the waste treatment sector. Closing supply chains can be modelled by adjusting input and output coefficients to reuse and recycling activities and specifying such actions in the EEIOA model if they are not explicitly presented. Product lifetime extension can be modelled by combining an adapted final demand with adjusted input coefficients in production. The impacts of resource efficiency can be modelled by lowering input coefficients for a given output. The major limitation we found was that most EEIOA studies are performed using monetary units, while circularity policies are usually defined in physical units. This problem affects all categories of circularity interventions, but is particularly relevant for residual waste management, due to the disconnect between the monetary and physical value of waste flows. For future research, we therefore suggest the incorporation of physical and hybrid tables in the assessment of circularity interventions when using EEIOA.

Keywords: Circular economy; Input–output analysis; Waste management; Recycling; Closing loops; Resource efficiency; Product lifetime extension (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1186/s40008-018-0113-3

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