Hannah By Hanna Dijkstra
March 19, 2020

Literature review on sustainable plastic business models



The field of sustainable business model research has grown in recent years to describe companies that are finding innovative ways to provide economic, environmental and social value. Plastic pollution is a critical global challenge, and companies large and small have adopted new business models in support of sustainable plastic management (SPM).

This article, titled “Business models and sustainable plastic management: A systematic review of the literature”, provides an overview of academic research on the topic of sustainable plastic within the private sector. The review is a baseline which other researchers can build upon, and synthesizes what has been studied and addresses research gaps. The study analyzes data from 44 business models found in 26 published articles.

The results indicate business models are mostly involved recycling plastic, even though reuse and prevention are more preferred options, as shown in the waste hierarchy below. The article also describes the drivers and barriers commonly found in SPM, drivers include maintaining competitive advantage, accessing new customers and collaborating with stakeholders. Barriers cited are high costs, supply chain lock in and low customer acceptance.



 

The article is provided open access and is published in the Journal of Cleaner Production. The research was funded by the Horizon 2020 project CLAIM (Cleaning litter by developing and applying innovative methods in European Seas).  

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