Circular economy approach in the maritime industry: barriers and opportunities

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


PURPOSE: While shipping is classed as one of the most energy-efficient transport modes, it currently lags behind sectors such as aerospace and automotive in terms of circular economy approaches, sustainability, accountability. Moreover, the applications of technologies that have seen the other sectors excel in those areas mentioned above. The Circular economy approach is not well-established in the maritime, and there is a need to “close the loop” to minimise waste and increase the revenue stream. METHOD: This study aims to investigate the industrial and legal barriers to the successful implementation of circular economy principles. This study will include a stakeholder analysis to define industry-specific constraints and parameters for such a transition by taking the lifecycle of a vessel into account. Furthermore, it will identify and estimate potential gains for all stakeholders in the maritime industry through the circular economy approach. The study intends to improve the overall revenue stream of marine vessels while minimising the waste from the assets and decrease the environmental impact by investigating end-of-life solutions in accord with circularity metrics. FINDINGS: The current linear consumption economy inherent in shipping (McKenna et al., 2012) results in increased costs, increased health, safety and environmental risks and harms efforts in achieving sustainability targets. Ship recycling contributes significantly to reducing the demand for intensive mining of iron ore and new steel production through steel scrap. However, a significant amount of materials and equipment from ships are currently underutilised in terms of their potential for reuse, remanufacturing and recycling (SEP, 2016). CONCLUSION: Therefore, this study aims to reveal the potential benefits of circular economy in the maritime industry and identify the barriers to successful implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2021
EventGlobal Maritime Conference -
Duration: 18 Nov 202119 Nov 2021


ConferenceGlobal Maritime Conference
Abbreviated titleGMC'21


  • circular economy
  • stakeholder analysis
  • ship recycling


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