Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Disruption in Circularity? Impact analysis of COVID-19 on ship recycling using Weibull tonnage estimation and scenario analysis method

  • Rahman, S.M. Mizanur1
  • Kim, Junbeum2
  • Laratte, Bertrand3, 4, 5
  • 1 University of Bordeaux, CNRS, Arts et Metiers Institute of Technology, Bordeaux INP, INRAE, I2M Bordeaux, F-33400 Talence, France
  • 2 CREIDD Research Center on Environmental Studies & Sustainability, Department of Humanities, Environment & Information Technology, Institut Charles Delaunay, CNRS-UMR 6281, University of Technology of Troyes, France
  • 3 Arts et Metiers Institute of Technology, University of Bordeaux, CNRS, Bordeaux INP, INRAE, I2M Bordeaux, F-33400 Talence, France
  • 4 Department of Industrial Engineering, Ondokuz Mayıs University, 55139 Samsun, Turkey
  • 5 APESA-Innovation, F-40220 Tarnos, France
Published Article
Resources, Conservation, and Recycling
Elsevier B.V.
Publication Date
Aug 28, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.105139
PMID: 32904429
PMCID: PMC7455110
PubMed Central
  • Full Length Article


The sustainability of the ship recycling industry strongly linked with the global shipping market and international commodity flows. More than 80% of the End of Life (EoL) ships are dismantled in South Asian countries, namely Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Due to measures taken to minimize the propagation of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an international supply chain is broken to a historic low, except for certain medical-related urgencies. Due to the disruption of global supply chains, the industry may submerge into uncertainty due to, perhaps, lack of adequate labor force to dismantle increased EoL ships and due to disturbances of vessel transportation to the recycling nations amid strong precautionary measures. Our estimate suggests that about 300 million Gross Tonnage (GT) available for demolition in the next five years and the inability to get them recycled would cost about 20 billion dollars. More importantly, South Asian recycling nations would suffer from economic losses and employment opportunities. In this study, we also apply a scenario analysis technique to understand the impact range of COVID-19 in the short term and in the long term. The disruption is viewed through a circular economy framework, identifying a critical lack of ‘global scale’ acknowledgment in the circular economy framework. This article suggests that a formalized global scale, paralleled with favorable policies, may reduce supply chain disruption and improve sustainable development in the receiving nations.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times