The Italian economy is the most circular among those of the principle European nations, according to the first Report on the circular economy in Italy. The country scores 103 points, placing it ahead of the UK (90 points), Germany (88 points), France (87 points) and Spain (81 points).
After processing data from Eurostat, the report, which was produced by the Circular Economy Network (a network of companies and organisations promoted by the Sustainable Development Foundation), in collaboration with ENEA (the Italian nuclear and alternative energy agency), has calculated the overall circularity index on the basis of five parameters (production; consumption; waste management; secondary raw materials; competitivity and innovation). The general picture shows “a stable trend,” although Italian circularity is growing at a slower pace than in other countries.
Italy comes first in production and waste management, in this case neck and neck with Germany, which comes first in consumption, where Italy is third. We are also in third place in secondary raw materials, while only Germany does better than Italy in investment and jobs. In particular, Italy is above the European average on the eco-innovation index, but in third place compared to the other major economies. Italy takes first place in Europe for employment in the recycling, reuse and repair sectors, with a figure of 2.05% compared to the total (the European average is 1.7%), although the report identifies a fall from 2008 onwards that will enable Spain to overtake Italy.
The Circular Economy Network report does not simply provide a snapshot of the situation, as it also offers 10 proposals to increase circularity in the Italian economy – the list includes promoting the regenerative bio-economy, the immediate adoption of the new tranche of EU directives on waste and the circular economy, implementing effective end of waste and extending the scope of the circular economy to include government procurement and e-commerce.