Design for the circular economy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


Sustainability describes our potential to maintain the well-being of humans and our environment now and over the long-term (WCED 1987). Until recently, the notion of sustainability was largely driven by energy efficiency during product manufacturing and in the use phase of products (Pigosso et al. 2015). We are now seeing increased concerns about materials, focusing on both physical scarcity and economic criticality. Demand of and competition for finite and critical resources continues to increase, and pressure on resources is causing greater environmental degradation and fragility. In the field of design for sustainability this primarily leads to a focus on improved recyclability of products. However, with recycling the material value is often only a small fraction of the actual product value and does not counteract the cost of collection and recycling processes. The economic perspective of recycling is therefore limited and actual recycling yields are relatively low. It makes more economic and environmental sense, therefore, to develop reuse strategies, in which value is maintained, like product reuse, remanufacturing and parts harvesting (Stahel 1981).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutlegde Handbook of Sustainable Design
EditorsR.B. Egenhoefer
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-62550-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-65017-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


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