New article about consumer behavior in the circular economy

Illustration of consumer roles as a customer, user, and end-of-life product holder.

We have published a new article entitled “Consumer behavior in the circular economy: Developing a product-centric framework” in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

The operationalization of circular economy (CE) strategies requires consumer involvement in the acquisition, use, and disposal of products and services. This study aims to clarify, frame, and measure consumer contributions to the implementation of the CE in regard to the 10R circular strategies: recover, recycle, repurpose, remanufacture, refurbish, repair, re-use, reduce, rethink, and refuse. The article addresses the following three research questions by combining a semi-systematic literature review with a critical analysis through the lens of the 10Rs of the CE:

  • RQ1: What are the consumer’s roles in the CE, and what consumer activities contribute to the new model?
  • RQ2: How can CE-related products be classified, and could they be ranked based on their circularity contribution?
  • RQ3: How can the consumer’s contribution as a customer of the CE be measured?

The article presents a product-centric framework of CE-related consumer behavior to monitor and measure product-level consumer contributions to the CE. The framework opens up further perspectives for policymakers and producers to more effectively manage the process of directing consumer behavior toward more circular and sustainable consumption alternatives.

The article is freely available through this link until 3rd February 2023.

Figure showing how the CE-related products can be classified by a set of features: (i) the type of CE loops, (ii) the period of waste prevention, (iii) the type of circular strategy, (iv) the conjunction of circular strategies, (v) the contribution to circularity potential, and (vi) the type of circularity.

Reference: Shevchenko, T., Saidani, M., Ranjbari, M., Kronenberg, J., Danko, Y., & Laitala, K. (2023). Consumer behavior in the circular economy: Developing a product-centric framework. Journal of Cleaner Production, 384, 135568.