How is the circular economy embracing social inclusion?

Roberta Souza Piao, Ticiana Braga de Vincenzi, Ana Lucia Fernandes da Silva, Maria Clara Chinen de Oliveira, Diego Vazquez-Brust, Marly Monteiro Carvalho

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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To fully contribute to sustainable development, circular economy has to devote more attention to social inclusion. This paper thoroughly analyzed the literature, answering the research question: how is circular economy embracing social inclusion? The research design applied quantitative and qualitative strategies. Bibliometric quantitative analysis with the aid of VosViewer, the RStudio software, and Bibliometrix Package were employed. An inductive content analysis was undertaken to analyze the themes of circular economy and social inclusion, applying NVivo software. The results brought out six clusters: (i) reverse logistics and recycling, (ii) circular economy and innovation, (iii) social innovation, (iv) sustainable supply chains, (v) bioeconomy, and (vi) closed-loop supply chain. Our findings showed that the circular strategies of reuse and reduce were the focus of the surveyed literature, while consumers and communities were the key stakeholders addressed. Recycling was directly linked to waste management and the inclusion of waste pickers in developing countries. As future research themes, it highlighted more theoretical and empirical research about community and consumer engagement in circular practices, besides the importance of entrepreneurship and social innovation to intensify circular practices embracing social inclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number137340
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date5 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023


  • informal
  • literature review
  • recycling
  • social inclusion
  • waste management
  • waste pickers

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