6.5.2 How long will it take to reach a circular economy

Course subject(s) Module 6. Thinking in Systems

This second video looks at the time horizon – how long will it take to reach a circular economy for aluminium? Before you start watching the video, take a guess! How long do you think it will take to establish a global closed-loop system for aluminium?

Sorry but there don't seem to be any downloads..

Subtitles (captions) in other languages than provided can be viewed at YouTube. Select your language in the CC-button of YouTube.

To review the graph on the future demand and supply of aluminium shown in the video, click on the thumbnail below.


  • As long as the demand for aluminium grows, we’ll not be able to close the loop. The supply of recycled aluminium will not be able to cover the demand for new aluminium.
  • Over time, as the demand stabilizes, we may reach a circular economy for aluminium. Models show that this may take 100 years – under optimistic assumptions.
  • The good news is that it will happen, almost by itself. The bad news is that there is little we can do to speed up this process! We can even argue that prolonging the lifespan of applications through repair and remanufacturing may delay the moment we reach a Circular Economy.
Creative Commons License
Circular Economy by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://ocw.tudelft.nl/courses/circular-economy/.
Back to top