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An Introduction to Circular Economy

Key Concepts and Terminology


Many of us have heard the phrases “circular economy” and “linear economy”. The notion of “circular economy” has been around for at least a few decades, starting with the “open economy” versus “closed economy” articulated by Kenneth Boulding in 1966 in his essay “The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth” (To download the essay, please go to: Since then, the concepts of feedback systems, cradle-to-cradle, closed-loop and many more essentially circular economy equivalent concepts have flourished and further developed into different branches in resource management, environmental policy, sustainable development and other subjects we are familiar with today from many university curriculums. It is, however, only in recent years, that the circular economy concept as an all-encompassing concept of future economic development model, gained global and cross-sector traction.


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