Monitoring circular biobased economy – Systematic review of circularity indicators at the micro level

I. Vural Gursel*, Berien Elbersen, Koen P.H. Meesters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The systematic literature review of circular economy indicators at the micro level revealed that they are still at an early stage of development and so far, the specific considerations relevant for biobased systems is not sufficiently incorporated. Existing indicators provide good coverage of aspects related to the quantity of resource flows i.e., resource use efficiency and degree of recirculation. Yet, most indicators fail to include renewable resource share, cascading use, and organic recycling that are important characteristics of biobased systems. These characteristics were taken into consideration in a few recent papers focused on circularity measurement of biobased products. Still there are gaps especially related to assessing the functional use of resources and preservation of quality of recycled materials. This consideration is especially important to optimize cascading use of biomass. Besides quality, another aspect that deserves further attention is closing of the nutrient cycles. Further research is needed in the development of indicators addressing these gaps to extract the maximum potential of biological resources for circular economy. This will yield a monitoring framework based on a comprehensive set of circular economy indicators which can be used by businesses and policy makers to formulate targets for transition to a circular bioeconomy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107104
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Biobased products
  • Bioeconomy
  • Circular economy
  • Circularity metrics
  • Indicators
  • Micro level
  • Sustainability


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