Italy is the European leader in the circular economy – Italy is a European leader in waste recovery and recycling and in the circular economy. This was revealed by the Symbola foundation, according to which our country achieves double results in the circular economy compared to the European average and much higher than those of all major countries.

This already allows us today to saving 23 million tons of oil equivalent every year and the emission of 63 million tons of CO2.

Three key indicators reported by the Symbola report: the rate of waste recycling, the use of secondary materials in the economy, productivity and per capita consumption of resources. The waste recycling rate in Italy is 79%, against a European average of 38% and 43% of Germany. The productivity of the use of resources is 3.64%, against 2.2% in the EU and 2.54% in Germany; the circularity rate of the material is 19.3% against 11.9 and 12.2% respectively.

In particular, excellent results were achieved in the paper and cardboard supply chain, with a recovery of more than 5 million tons, which reaches 80% in the case of packaging. Each percentage point of growth in paper recycling is equivalent to a reduction of 84,000 tons of waste to be disposed of. In 2018, the industrial recycling of paper in Italy made it possible to avoid energy consumption of 1.5 million TOE and climate-altering emissions of 4.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent.

In a short-medium term scenario (5-10 years), if we had an average increase of 14% in internal recycling (going from 44 Mt to 50 Mt) – Symbola estimate – further avoided CO2 emissions in the order of 7 million tons, a value equivalent to the emissions of all petroleum products for thermoelectric use.

Maximum commitment to maintain “absolute leadership” in the circular economy was ensured by the Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani: the government with the Recovery Plan will do everything possible to ensure that Italy continues to be “first of the class”.

Convinced that we should also accelerate thereCEO of Enel Francesco Starace: “From an energy point of view – he underlines – the circular economy is equivalent to an efficient economy and an efficient economy is an economy that is more environmentally responsible and much more sustainable”. According to Starace, at the root of Italy’s excellent performance there is not only “a healthy attitude towards waste, but also a good governance that has pushed innovation in the right direction”.

For the vice president of Confindustria with responsibility for the environment and sustainability, Maria Cristina Piovesana, it is essential to invest in the circular economy and in the ecological transition by seizing all the opportunities offered by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, but it is necessary to collaborate to study all together the most effective tools to exploit the potential of Italian companies, giving them regulatory interventions that give them the time and the way to be able to orient and reposition themselves towards increasingly ambitious objectives.



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