Reverse Logistics and the Circular Economy

Topic: Logistics
Words: 539 Pages: 2


Reverse logistics is becoming an increasingly important facet of business. With the need to consider the environmental impacts of corporate action, as well as the stiff competition between emergent firms, organizations must seize every opportunity. The process of maintaining a competitive advantage and a financial edge, then, involves reusing or repurposing goods in order to derive value. This can include a direct re-selling of goods, disassembly and usage of existing parts, recycling and many other processes. As a whole, reverse logistics act as an effective way to circulate existing assets within the supply chain. In addition, it as an efficient pathway to reducing production waste and conserving the environment. The idea of reverse logistics works closely together with the concept of a circular economy. Acting as a general principle of economic operation it concerns using existing materials as long as possible. As discussed in research, there is presently a variety of ways to implement circular economy into action, however approaches vary significantly. This paper will discuss concepts of re-using goods and the circular economy in more detail. The main thesis is that reverse logistics, and the circular economy system as a whole, provide incomparable value compared to previous market systems, and aid in pursuing current global aims.

Practices, Strategies, Approaches

A traditional economic structure is linear, with goods produced by companies being received by their buyers. Such a model wastes a lot of potential resources, and constantly creates new pollution through the manufacturing cycle. Because of this, new approaches to goods manufacturing were created, shifting from a linear to a circular system. As noted previously, there are many existing solutions to implementing a circular economy. Legislative and regulatory barriers toward change also exist, and it is necessary to eliminate them or adapt them to using more sustainable supply chains. In many cases, the devices of today are poorly covered by regulatory action, as changes in legislation appear too slowly (Ryen et al., 2018). Research by Kalmykova et al., (2018) highlights stock efficiency, eco-efficiency and waste reduction to be among the chief strategies to applying circular economy solutions. Further discussing ideas of re-using materials and goods, disassembly stands among the primary considerations for any organization. Efficiency of repair, reuse and a more effective way to break a product down into its components are the goals companies using reverse logistics strive to. Vanegas et al. (2018) proposed a metric to evaluating the potential disassembly time of a product, which can be beneficial to organizations working on improving their logistics efficiency. The quicker a product can be reused, the quicker can it make another profit for an organization.


In conclusion, it can be said that the current trend of reusability and sustainability has had a considerable impact on the business sphere. Adopting changes that are conductive to long-term success instead of chasing a quicker profit becomes the new norm, which is then adapted by big and small companies alike. Ideas of reverse logistics, and the circular economy approach as a whole demonstrate a shift towards better reusability, and a more consumer friendly attitude to product creation. Reusing components and optimizing reverse supply chains rapidly becomes the new source of innovation in the business sphere, and this direction has much ambition.


Kalmykova, Y., Sadagopan, M., & Rosado, L. (2018). Circular economy – From review of theories and practices to development of implementation tools. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 135, 190-201. Web.

Ryen, E. G., Gaustad, G., Babbitt, C. W., & Babbitt, G. (2018). Ecological foraging models as inspiration for optimized recycling systems in the circular economy. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 135, 48-57. Web.

Vanegas, P., Peeters, J. R., Cattrysse, D., Tecchio, P., Ardente, F., Mathieux, F., Dewulf, W., & Duflou, J. R. (2018). Ease of disassembly of products to support circular economy strategies. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 135, 323-334.

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