Recent trends in the international photovoltaic (PV) sector indicate strong growth in terms of capacity and production, which is positively influencing the process of energy system decarbonisation. The aim of this review was to promote productive paradigms for a ‘closed cycle’ economy based on the enhancement of resource efficiency and the reduction of waste. To this end, the articulate framework for the management of end-of-life PV panels was analysed, highlighting strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of transitioning towards a circular economy. The conceptual framework is based on a comprehensive review and analysis of relevant literature to describe the main technological and environmental implications associated with PV energy production. Consequently, this paper highlights the most important critical elements, potential opportunities, and limitations deriving from the technological, managerial and organisational aspects of enhancing recovery and recycling rates. The review and the proposed framework might be useful for further research on this important yet complex topic.