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State of the Art of Economy-Wide Material Flow Accounting in the Scientific Literature

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Trash or Treasure


This study aims to analyse the topic of circular material flow in the literature, with the goal to provide a comprehensive overview for scholars, policymakers, and stakeholders on the Economy-Wide Material Flow Accounting methodology (EW-MFA), defined by EUROSTAT and OECD. A systematic literature review was carried out, adopting the steps of the “Scientific Procedures and Rationales for Systematic Literature Reviews” (SPAR-4-SLR) protocol, to analyse scientific studies adopting the EW-MFA methodology. Given the relative novelty of the topic, there are limited numbers of articles using the aforementioned methodology as their key element. Therefore, the primary objective of this research is to consolidate the existing literature on the topic, providing a theoretical basis for future work. Additionally, it seeks to direct and encourage future studies adopting the EW-MFA methodology while shedding light on both its benefits and limitations. The authors recommend the systematic use of this methodology as it may be critical for standards creation in the management of material flows, which will enable more effective monitoring of the trend toward a circular economy (CE).

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The authors would like to acknowledge Alicia Gonzalez Mateos, Domenico Bognoni and Michael Kevin Illiano for their contribution to the research activity.

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Correspondence to Marco Ciro Liscio .

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Chioatto, E., Liscio, M.C., Sospiro, P. (2024). State of the Art of Economy-Wide Material Flow Accounting in the Scientific Literature. In: Singh, P., Borthakur, A. (eds) Trash or Treasure . Springer, Cham.

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