Journal of Circular Economy

An applied scholarly journal on circular economy

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Circular Economy Rebound: The Third Wheel on the Date Between Circularity and Sustainability

Pierluigi Zerbino


The Circular Economy Rebound (CER) effect is a phenomenon that can compromise the capability of a Circular Economy to achieve its intended benefits. Its occurrence can lead to firms overstating their environmental performance and being prone to greenwashing. From a broader point of view, it jeopardises sustainability and economic prosperity from the circular transition and can hinder the decoupling between production and virgin resource extraction. Thus, CER may play a pivotal role in micro and macroeconomic decision-making and policy-making in a Circular Economy. Yet, it is largely unknown, and the search for concrete solutions to limit its occurrence and mitigate its effects is strongly overlooked. Accordingly, this perspective paper aims to increase awareness about CER and tease academics, practitioners, and policymakers to join forces and develop holistic, actionable solutions to manage this detrimental unintended consequence of establishing circularity.


Rebound; Greenwashing; Sustainability; Circular Economy


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