Charting Italy’s Circular Economy: Insights from the Circular Economy Report 2023

Italy’s Circular Economy is changing, and the Circular Economy Report 2023 from the Polytechnic University of Milan is a helpful guide. It tells us about the achievements, challenges, and ways to make things better for a more eco-friendly future.

Current Savings and 2030 Goals

Over the past year, Italy has saved €1.2 billion through circular economy practices. Despite this commendable achievement, it makes up 15% of the ambitious €103 billion target set for 2030. According to the report, closing this gap demands an eightfold increase in current efforts.

Sustainability Technologies and Policies

The report underscores the imperative for a heightened focus on sustainability technologies and policies. Italy finds itself second to last among major European countries in private investments in the Circular Economy. A cause for concern is the rise in small businesses opting out of circular practices. In the past year, they increased from 38% to 47% .

The Call for More Reuse Efforts

While Italy excels in recycling, a crucial shift towards material reuse is pressing. The report sheds light on the challenges faced by the national circular economy strategy. In particular, it focuses on the necessary authorizations to connect diverse sectors and kickstart material reuse.

Proaxxes’ Strategic Role

To tackle these challenges head-on, Proaxxes recognizes the necessity for proactive measures. The embrace of circular practices is pivotal. As a strategic partner, Proaxxes facilitates the seamless integration of circular economy principles into market strategies.  Proaxxes supports businesses in navigating the intricate landscape and fostering sustainable growth.

Survey on Circular Economy Adoption

The report features a survey on the adoption of Circular Economy practices among Italian businesses. Notably, while almost 60% of large enterprises have adopted at least one practice, this rate drops to 29% for smaller businesses. For 70% of companies, the transition is still in its early stages, with a predominant focus on end-of-life product valuation.

Challenges and Opportunities

Investment levels remain subpar, with more than half investing less than €50,000. While this favors quick returns, it often results in non-structural interventions. The perceived benefits, including reduced environmental impact and waste generation, are juxtaposed with obstacles stemming from high investment costs and regulatory uncertainty.

Sector Disparities and Future Projections

The report reveals disparities in sector adoption, with Building & Construction leading and Automotive lagging. Notably, digital technologies play a pivotal role in these endeavors.

The European Landscape

While Europe strides forward with comprehensive policies and expanded eco-design directives, Italy faces challenges in catching up. Yet, positive signals include Italy ranking second in Europe for circular economy-related patents. Moreover, Italy is witnessing the rise of 210 circular startups, securing €122.7 million in funding.



As fervent advocates for sustainability, Proaxxes underscores the urgency highlighted in the Circular Economy Report 2023. Collaborative efforts, augmented investments, and strategic partnerships are imperative to overcome challenges and guide Italy toward a circular and sustainable future. Let’s act as catalysts for change, embracing circular economy initiatives for a brighter tomorrow.

maddalena-team management

Maddalena Gargani

Business Development Assistant in Circular Economy and Agri & food Tech Projects..

Nothing is complicated if you walk inside of it. The forest seen from above is an impenetrable thicket, but you can know it tree by tree. The head of a man is incomprehensible until you stop to listen to him! ” – Stefano Benni, from Saltatempo


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