Greater circularity leads to lower criticality, and other links between criticality and the circular economy

Tercero Espinoza, Luis; Schrijvers, Dieuwertje; Chen, Wei-Qiang; Dewulf, Jo; Eggert, Roderick; Goddin, James; Habib, Komal; Hagelüken, Christian; Hurd, Alan J.; Kleijn, René; Ku, Anthony Y.; Lee, Min-Ha; Nansai, Keisuke; Nuss, Philip; Peck, David; Petavratzi, Evi; Sonnemann, Guido; van der Voet, Ester; Wäger, Patrick A.; Young, Steven B.; Hool, Alessandra. 2020 Greater circularity leads to lower criticality, and other links between criticality and the circular economy. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 159, 104718.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Society requires a stable and secure supply of raw materials. Raw materials supply stability and security are, amongst others, addressed by the concept of raw materials criticality, which focuses on the vulnerability of an economic unit (most commonly a country or region, but also the world, specific sectors, companies or products) to supply restrictions of certain mineral raw materials (cf. Schrijvers et al., 2020). The idea of keeping materials in the economic cycle for longer is specified in the Circular Economy (CE) concept, which encompasses efforts that reduce waste and improve material efficiency (Ellen McArthur Foundation, 2013; European Commission, 2018). So far, CE beyond recycling has not played a prominent role in the criticality debate. At the same time, critical raw materials (CRM) have only been a minor topic in the discussion on CE (recent exceptions include European Commission, 2018, and Gaustad et al., 2018). If properly aligned, criticality assessments might help in defining priority materials for the CE, and circularity strategies could substantially mitigate supply risks. In this paper, we explore the potential benefits, as well as caveats, of adopting a CE approach to CRM, based on our own experiences and our discussions organized by the IRTC (International Round Table on Materials Criticality) project.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 09213449
Date made live: 04 Sep 2020 13:03 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...