Research-practice gaps in circularity indicators for the plastic industry in the Netherlands

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Research-practice gaps in circularity indicators in the plastic industry in the Netherlands were identified. The Dutch government aims for a complete circular economy in 2050. A circular economy in the plastic industry is projected to decrease crude oil use, CO2 emissions, waste and litter (Stegmann et al., 2022; Robaina et al., 2020). Monitoring improves environmental performance (Zou, 2021), influences decision making and creates accountability for companies. Optimising CE indicators for the plastic industry, by identifying r-p gaps, contributes to better circularity performance. The implementation scale of the indicators, CE discourses and indicator typology were compared between the research and practice field with a structured literature review. Expert interviews provided explanations and context for the gaps. Identified research-practice gaps are: the complexity of wording and calculations of indicators from research; a larger focus on indicators for new business models, social change and the use-phase in the practice field; a larger focus on financial indicators in research. For both fields, standardisation of CE indicators and improved communication between the two fields would benefit CE monitoring. Future research should focus on bridging these gaps.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen