Statistical Evaluation of the Level of Development of Circular Economy in European Union Member Countries
2. Literature Review
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. Data and Variables
- Production and consumptionX1—generation of municipal waste per capita (kg per capita) (D)X2—generation of waste (excluding major mineral wastes) per GDP unit (kg per thousand euro, chain-linked volumes (2010)) (D)X3—generation of waste (excluding major mineral wastes) per domestic material consumption (%) (D)
- Waste managementX4—recycling rate of municipal waste (%) (S)X5—recycling rate of all waste (excluding major mineral waste) (S)X6—recycling rate of packaging waste by type of packaging (%) (S)X7—recycling rate of packaging waste by type of packaging (plastic packaging) (%) (S)X8—recycling rate of packaging waste by type of packaging (wooden packaging) (%) (S)X9—recycling rate of e-waste (%) (S)X10—recycling of biowaste (per capita) (S)X11—recovery rate of construction and demolition waste (% of construction and demolition mineral waste recycled) (S)
- Secondary raw materialsX12—circular material use rate (% of total material use) (S)X13—trade in recyclable raw materials (imports from non-EU countries) in tons per thousand inhabitants (S)X14—trade in recyclable raw materials (exports to non-EU countries) in tons per thousand inhabitants (S)X15—trade in recyclable raw materials (imports from EU countries) in tons per thousand inhabitants (S)X16—trade in recyclable raw materials (exports to EU countries) in tons per thousand inhabitants (S)
- Competitiveness and innovationX17—patents related to recycling and secondary raw materials per million inhabitants (S).
- Presenting of diagnostic variable values Xj (j = 1, 2, …, m) describing the studied objects (EU countries) Oi (i = 1, 2, …, n) in each of the studied periods (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016) in the form of a two-dimensional matrix:
- Normalisation of the variables to maintain comparability of statistical data, according to the following Equations
- zij—the normalised value of a jth variable for the ith object,
- xij—the value of a jth variable for the ith object,
- Rj—range for the jth variable. Normalisation was carried out for “object-periods”, i.e., , , and values were identified for all four studied years.
- Calculating the synthetic measure values for the distinguished CE areas as an arithmetical mean of normalised variable values, using Equation (4):
- MSi—synthetic measure for the distinguished CE areas (I–IV),
- zij—the normalized value of the jth variable for the ith object. Thus, the value of the general synthetic measure of the level of CE development for the ith object (EU country) is the arithmetic mean of the synthetic measures calculated for the CE areas (I–IV):—the general synthetic measure of the level of CE,—the synthetic measure of area I of CE,—the synthetic measure of area II of CE,—the synthetic measure of area III of CE,—the synthetic measure of area IV of CE.
- Classifying the EU-28 countries with similar levels of development of CE, according to the following Equations (6)–(9):
- —the mean value of the general synthetic measure,
- —standard deviation of the general synthetic measure.
- Checking the similarity of results of the linear ordering of the countries in time (2010 vs. 2016), using the following Equation ,
- difference between mean values of synthetic measures:
- difference in the dispersion of synthetic measures:
- a non-conformity of the direction of changes in synthetic measures:
4.1. Descriptive Statistics
- in 2010: from 0.207 for Malta to 0.530 for Luxembourg,
- in 2012: from 0.228 for Greece to 0.555 for Luxembourg,
- in 2014: from 0.222 for Greece to 0.668 for Luxembourg, and
- in 2016: from 0.241 for Greece to 0.552 for Luxembourg.
- Production and consumption. In most EU countries, the situation regarding the amount of waste generated improved. Sixteen countries saw a reduction in the values of X1 indicator (most notably Bulgaria, Spain, and Luxembourg), the values of X2 indicator for 17 countries reduced (most notably Estonia, Finland, and Romania) and the values of X3 indicator for 11 countries reduced (most notably Finland, Luxembourg, and Hungary).
- Waste management. In 2016, countries generally showed better waste management than in 2010, i.e., 26 countries recorded improvements in X4 (most notably Lithuania, Slovenia and Poland), 21 countries recorded improvements in X5 (most notably Slovenia, Latvia and Croatia), 19 countries recorded improvements in the values of X6 (most notably Slovakia, Poland and Malta), 21 countries saw improvements in X7 indicator (most notably Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom), improvements in X8 were recorded for 10 countries (most notably Slovakia, Portugal and the Czech Republic), 27 countries recorded improvements in the values of X9 (most notably Bulgaria, Croatia, and Estonia), and 22 countries saw improvements in the values of X10 (most notably Lithuania, Slovenia and Portugal).
- Secondary raw materials. Most of the EU countries improved their results in this area, i.e., 17 countries improved in X12 (most notably Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands), 17 countries improved in X13 (most notably Greece, Portugal and Bulgaria), 17 countries improved in X14 (most notably Lithuania, Latvia, and Malta), 12 countries improved their X15 results (most notably Slovenia, Portugal, and Estonia) and nine countries improved their X16 results (most notably Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia).
- Competitiveness and innovation. More than a half (16) of the countries improved the values of their X17 indicator (most notably Luxembourg, Denmark and Slovenia).
4.4. Hypothesis Verification
5. Discussion and Conclusions
Conflicts of Interest
- Ormazabal, M.; Prieto-Sandoval, V.; Puga-Leal, R.; Jaca, C. Circular Economy in Spanish SMEs: Challenges and opportunities. J. Clean. Prod. 2018, 185, 157–167. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- de Mattos, C.A.; de Albuquerque, T.L.M. Enabling Factors and Strategies for the Transition Toward a Circular Economy (CE). Sustainability 2018, 10, 4628. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Huang, C.-C.; Chuang, H.-F.; Chen, S.-Y. Corporate Memory: Design to better reduce, reuse and recycle. Comput. Ind. Eng. 2016, 91, 48–65. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) 2012. Available online: https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/what-is-the-circular-economy (accessed on 23 September 2019).
- Tantau, A.D.; Maassen, M.A.; Fratila, L. Models for Analyzing the Dependencies between Indicators for a Circular Economy in the European Union. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2141. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Prieto-Sandoval, V.; Jaca, C.; Ormazabal, M. Towards a consensus on the circular economy. J. Clean. Prod. 2018, 179, 605–615. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ghisellini, P.; Cialani, C.; Ulgiati, S. A review on circular economy: The expected transition to a balanced interplay of environmental and economic systems. J. Clean. Prod. 2016, 114, 11–32. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Kirchherr, J.; Reike, D.; Hekkert, M. Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 2017, 127, 221–232. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Rogall, H. Ekonomia Zrównoważonego Rozwoju. Teoria i Praktyka; Wydawnictwo Zysk i Spółka: Poznań, Poland, 2010; pp. 31–53. [Google Scholar]
- Liu, J.Y. Circular economy and environmental efficiency—The case of traditional Hakka Living System. Procedia Soc. Behav. Sci. 2012, 57, 255–260. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Fura, B.; Wang, Q. The level of socioeconomic development of EU countries and the state of ISO 14001 certification. Qual. Quant. 2017, 51, 103–119. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed][Green Version]
- Grzebyk, M.; Stec, M. Sustainable development in EU countries: Concept and rating of levels of development. Sustain. Dev. 2015, 23, 110–123. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Hinterberger, F.; Omann, I.; Stocker, A. Employment and Environment in a Sustainable Europe. Empirica 2002, 29, 113–130. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Lambregts, B.; Janssen-Jansen, L.; Haran, N. Effective governance for competitive region in Europe: The difficult case of the Randstad. GeoJournal 2008, 72, 45–57. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- European Commission (EC). Closing the Loop—An EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy 2015. Available online: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:8a8ef5e8-99a0-11e5-b3b7-01aa75ed71a1.0012.02/DOC_1&format=PDF (accessed on 15 January 2019).
- Schanes, K.; Dobering, K.; Gözet, B. Food waste matters—A systematic review of household food waste practices and their policy implications. J. Clean. Prod. 2018, 182, 978–991. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Filho, W.L.; Saari, U.; Fedoruk, M.; Iital, A.; Moora, H.; Klöga, M.; Voronova, V. An overview of the problems posed by plastic products and the role of extended producer responsibility in Europe. J.Clean. Prod. 2019, 214, 550–558. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Marino, A.; Pariso, P. Comparing European countries’ performances in the transition towards the Circular Economy. Sci. Total Environ. 2020, 729, 138–142. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Giordano, C.; Falasconi, L.; Cicatiello, C.; Pancino, B. The role of food waste hierarchy in addressing policy and research: A comparative analysis. J. Clean. Prod. 2020, 252, 119–617. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Surak, S.M. Extended Producer Responsibility. Encyclopedia Britannica. 5 December 2018. Available online: https://www.britannica.com/topic/extended-producer-responsibility (accessed on 21 November 2020).
- Shirvanimoghaddam, K.; Motamed, B.; Ramakrishna, S.; Naebe, M. Death by waste: Fashion and textile circular economy case. Sci. Total Environ. 2020, 718, 137–317. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Andersen, M.S. An introductory note on the environmental economics of the circular economy. Sustain. Sci. 2007, 2, 133–140. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Geisendorf, S.; Pietrulla, F. The circular economy and circular economic concepts—A literature analysis and redefinition. Thunderbird Int. Bus. Rev. 2017, 60, 771–782. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Virtanen, M.; Manskinen, K.; Uusitalo, V.; Syvänne, J.; Cura, K. Regional material flow tools to promote circular economy. J. Clean. Prod. 2019, 235, 1020–1025. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Saidani, M.; Yannou, B.; Leroy, Y.; Cluzel, F.; Kendall, A. A taxonomy of circular economy indicators. J. Clean. Prod. 2019, 207, 542–559. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Park, K.; Kremer, G. Text mining-based categorization and user perspective analysis of environmental sustainability indicators for manufacturing and service systems. Ecol. Indicat. 2017, 72, 803–820. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Foray, D. Smart Specialization: Opportunities and Challenges for Regional Innovation Policy; Routledge: Abingdon, UK; New York, NY, USA, 2015; pp. 21–30. [Google Scholar]
- Elia, V.; Gnoni, M.G.; Torense, F. Measuring circular economy strategies through index methods: A critical analysis. J. Clean. Prod. 2017, 142 Pt 2, 2741–2751. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Moraga, G.; Huysveld, S.; Mathieux, F.; Blengini, G.A.; Alaerts, L.; Van Acker, K.; de Meester, S.; Dewulf, J. Circular economy indicators: What do they measure. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 2019, 146, 452–461. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Stahel, W.R. Policy for material efficiency—Sustainable taxation as a departure from the throwaway society. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 2013, 371, 20110567. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Eurostat Database. Available online: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database (accessed on 15 December 2019).
- European Commission (EC). Circular Economy: Implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan 2018. Available online: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm (accessed on 15 January 2019).
- Domenech, T.; Bleischwitz, R.; Doranova, A.; Panayotopoulos, D.; Roman, L. Mapping Industrial Symbiosis Development in Europe_ typologies of networks, characteristics, performance and contribution to the Circular Economy. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 2019, 141, 76–98. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Desrochers, P. Regional development and inter-industry recycling linkages: Some historical perspectives. Entrep. Reg. Dev. 2002, 14, 49–65. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Millar, N.; McLaughlin, E.; Börger, T. The Circular Economy: Swings and Roundabouts? Ecol. Econ. 2019, 158, 11–19. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- García-Barragán, J.F.; Eyckmans, J.; Rousseau, S. Defining and Measuring the Circular Economy: A Mathematical Approach. Ecol. Econ. 2019, 157, 369–372. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Reike, D.; Walter, J.V.; Vermeulen, W.J.V.; Witjes, S. The circular economy: New or Refurbished as CE 3.0?—Exploring Controversies in the Conceptualization of the Circular Economy through a Focus on History and Resource Value Retention Options. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 2018, 135, 246–264. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Avdiushchenko, A. Toward a Circular Economy Regional Monitoring Framework for European Regions: Conceptual Approach. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4398. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Sassanelli, C.; Rosa, P.; Rocca, R.; Terzi, S. Circular economy performance assessment methods: A systematic literature review. J. Clean. Prod. 2019, 229, 440–453. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Smol, M.; Kulczycka, J.; Avdiushchenko, A. Circular economy indicators in relation to eco-innovation in European regions. Clean. Technol. Environ. Policy 2017, 19, 669–678. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Căutișanu, C.; Asandului, L.; Borza, M.; Turturean, C. Quantitative Approach to Circular Economy in the OECD Countries. Amfiteatru Econ. 2018, 20, 262–277. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Iacovidou, E.; Velis, C.A.; Purnell, P.; Zwiner, O.; Brown, A.; Hahladakis, J.; Millward-Hopikins, J.; Williams, P.T. Metrics for optimising the multi-dimensional value of resources recovered from waste in a circular economy: A critical review. J. Clean. Prod. 2017, 166, 910–938. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Haupt, M.; Hellweg, S. Measuring the environmental sustainability of a circular economy. Environ. Sustain. Indic. 2019, 1–2, 100005. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Stahel, W.R. The circular economy. Nature 2016, 531, 435–438. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Pociecha, J.; Zając, K. Cluster analysis methods and regression modelling. Control. Cybern. 1989, 18, 69–80. [Google Scholar]
- European Commission (EC). How Is the EU Progressing towards the Circular Economy? 2018. Available online: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/8587408/8-16012018-AP-EN.pdf/aaaaf8f4-75f4-4879-8fea-6b2c27ffa1a2 (accessed on 15 January 2019).
- Morone, P.; Navia, R. New consumption and production models for a circular economy. Waste Manag. Res. 2016, 36, 489–490. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Silva, A.; Rosano, M.; Stocker, L.; Gorissen, L. From waste to sustainable materials management: Three case studies of the transition journey. Waste Manag. 2017, 61, 547–557. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- European Commission (EC). Sustainable Supply of Raw Materials. Optimal Recycling Business Innovation Observatory Contract No 190/PP/ENT/CIP/12/C/N03C01 2016. Available online: https://ec.europa.eu (accessed on 5 June 2020).
- European Commission (EC). The Efficient Functioning of Waste Markets in the European Union, 2016. Available online: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/studies/pdf/waste_market_study.pdf (accessed on 5 June 2020).
- Kukuła, K. Metoda Unitaryzacji Zerowanej; Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN: Warszawa, Poland, 2000; pp. 189–190. [Google Scholar]
- Walesiak, M. The application of multidimensional scaling to measure and asses changes in the level of social cohesion of the lower Silesia region in the period 2005–2015. Econometrics 2007, 3, 9–25. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Business Models for the Circular Economy: Opportunities and Challenges for Policy; OECD Publishing: Paris, France, 2019; Available online: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/environment/business-models-for-the-circular-economy_g2g9dd62-en (accessed on 24 September 2019). [CrossRef]
- Derej, W. Eco-innovations and European Union development based on the example of the municipal waste economy. Studia Ekonomiczne. Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego w Katowicach 2017, 324, 20–32. [Google Scholar]
- World Bank. Little Green Data Book 2016. Available online: http://data.worldbankorg/products/data-books/little-data-book/little-green-data-book (accessed on 24 September 2019).
|Indicator||Maximum Value||Minimum Value||Mean||Coefficient of Variation (CV) in %||Coefficient of|
|EU Countries||2010||2012||2014||2016||Position Change|
2016 vs. 2010
|Group||Level of CE||Classification of EU Countries|
|Group 1||high||Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium||Luxembourg, Netherlands, Belgium|
|Group 2||medium-high||Austria, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia, United Kingdom, France||Slovenia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, Latvia, Poland|
|Group 3||medium-low||Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia||France, Finland, Portugal, Italy, Slovakia, Ireland, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria|
|Group 4||low||Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Cyprus, Malta||Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, Greece|
|Group||Level of CE||Classification of EU Countries (I. Production and Consumption)|
|Group 1||high||Latvia, Czech Republic, Croatia Slovakia, Romania||Romania, Czech Republic, Latvia|
|Group 2||medium–high||Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Slovenia, Cyprus||Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Portugal, Finland, Slovenia, Cyprus, Austria, Ireland|
|Group 3||medium–low||France, Finland, Greece, Germany, Malta, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Belgium||France, Spain, Luxembourg, Malta, Greece, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria|
|Group 4||low||Netherlands, Bulgaria, Estonia||Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia|
|Group||Level of CE||Classification of EU Countries (II. Waste Management)|
|Group 1||high||Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg||Netherlands, Lithuania, Belgium, Denmark|
|Group 2||medium–high||Belgium, United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Slovenia, Czech Republic||Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Luxembourg, Italy, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Bulgaria|
|Group 3||medium–low||France, Portugal, Spain, Estonia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Finland||Ireland, Spain, Poland, France, Slovakia, Finland, Latvia, Hungary, Croatia, Estonia|
|Group 4||low||Romania, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Malta||Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Greece|
|Group||Level of CE||Classification of EU Countries (III. Secondary Raw Materials)|
|Group 1||high||Luxembourg, Netherlands, Belgium||Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium|
|Group 2||medium–high||Estonia, Denmark, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom, France||Slovenia, Estonia, Denmark, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Austria|
|Group 3||medium–low||Latvia, Germany, Austria, Finland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Malta Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Portugal||Germany, Lithuania, Italy, Latvia, Czech Republic, Malta, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Ireland, Finland, Greece, Bulgaria, Portugal, Cyprus|
|Group||Level of CE||Classification of EU Countries (IV. Competitiveness and Innovation)|
|Group 1||high||Luxembourg, Finland||Luxembourg|
|Group 2||medium–high||Austria, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania||Finland, Austria, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, France|
|Group 3||medium–low||Netherlands, Italy Ireland, United Kingdom, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia||Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Hungary, Lithuania, Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Greece|
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Fura, B.; Stec, M.; Miś, T. Statistical Evaluation of the Level of Development of Circular Economy in European Union Member Countries. Energies 2020, 13, 6401. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236401
Fura B, Stec M, Miś T. Statistical Evaluation of the Level of Development of Circular Economy in European Union Member Countries. Energies. 2020; 13(23):6401. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236401Chicago/Turabian Style
Fura, Barbara, Małgorzata Stec, and Teresa Miś. 2020. "Statistical Evaluation of the Level of Development of Circular Economy in European Union Member Countries" Energies 13, no. 23: 6401. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236401