Interest in Material Cycle Closure? Exploring Evolution of Industry's Responses to High-grade Recycling from an Industrial Ecology Perspective

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Many anthropogenically-produced or beneficiated materials contained in “end-of-life” products retain a great proportion of the invested manufacturing work when discarded. Very few such materials are reconstituted and applied in new products at the same material inherent quality level as in their first lifetime – a process known as “closed-loop recycling”. In general, industrial society maintains an extract, expend, expel modus operandi despite demonstrated “loop closure” feasibility for a significant number of materials. This thesis builds from a foundation in Industrial Ecology, a field prescribing to an ecological metaphor for how paradigmatic change might take place towards closure of material-energy cycles. It utilises three detailed case studies of loop closure work to develop a conceptual framework describing behaviour of industrial actors when faced with the opportunity, or need, to innovate for material cycle closure. This work helps answer questions about why work towards closure for “promising” material cycles may not be progressing, where key barriers lie, and how measures might be implemented to encourage the evolution of industrial conduct towards more widespread closed-loop recycling.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2003 Sept 19
ISBN (Print)91-88902-31-5, 91-88902-32-3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2003-09-19
Time: 13:30
Place: Aula International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund Institute of Technology

External reviewer(s)

Name: Chertow, Marion
Title: Assistant PhD professor
Affiliation: Yale University, USA


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Free keywords

  • polymers
  • vehicles
  • ELV
  • extended producer responsibility
  • chemical recycling
  • material cycling
  • material flows
  • closed-loop recycling
  • Industrial Ecology
  • recycling
  • aluminium.
  • Environmental technology
  • pollution control
  • Miljöteknik
  • kontroll av utsläpp


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