Emerging anthropogenic circularity science: Principles, practices, and challenges

Elsevier, iScience, Volume 24, Issue 3, 2021, 102237
Xianlai Zeng, Jinhui Li

Material depletion over reliance of linear economies and environmental pollution may be resolved by applying the principles and practices of anthropogenic circularity science. Here we systematically review the emergence of anthropogenic circularity science in the interdisciplinary development of green chemistry, supply chain, and industrial ecology at different scales. The first, second, and third laws of circularity chemistry are proposed as forming the basic principles of circularity science. To close the loop on critical materials, these three basic principles have been exemplified in the anthropogenic circularity practices. We highlight the spatial distribution of critical metal, waste generation, and recycling rate. Future opportunities and challenges for a circular economy and urban mining will predominate in anthropogenic circularity. Therefore, anthropogenic circularity science will play an increasing role in enabling a smooth transition to a circular society.