Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Circular Economy and Sustainability




School of Business and Law




Open access funding provided by MODUL University Vienna GmbH


Rejeb, A., Rejeb, K., Appolloni, A., Treiblmaier, H., & Iranmanesh, M. (2023). Circular Economy Research in the COVID-19 Era: a Review and the Road Ahead. Circular economy and sustainability, advance online publication.


The onset of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a major crisis that has severely impacted numerous economic, environmental, and social aspects of human life. During the pandemic, the potential of the circular economy (CE) has gained increasing attention as a prospective remedy for numerous sustainability problems. This systematic literature review charts CE research in the COVID-19 era. To this end, 160 journal articles were selected from the Scopus database. The performance indicators of the literature were determined and described through a bibliometric analysis. Moreover, the conceptual structure of CE research was identified via a keyword co-occurrence network. Based on bibliographic coupling, the focus of CE research in the COVID-19 era revolves mainly around five thematic areas, including: (1) waste management; (2) digitalization and sustainable supply chain management; (3) the impact of COVID-19 on food systems; (4) sustainable development goals, smart cities, and bioeconomy; and (5) closed-loop supply chains. Overall, this review contributes to enriching the literature by determining the main thematic areas and future research directions that can help to advance the transition to the CE and reduce the impact of COVID-19 and similar disasters in the future.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.