Circular Economy in the Italian Recovery and Resilience Plan

It is well known that Italy will benefit from the highest quota of the “NextGenerationEU”, the temporary financial instrument drafted by the European Commission to help member states recover from the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, Italy will receive a total of 172,7 billion of euro and the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, affirmed that such money will be used to render Italy greener, more digital and committed to research and innovation.

This article focuses on the sustainable aspect of the Italian Recovery Plan. More precisely, it examines the attention devolved to circular economy.

Overall, Italy ranks higher than the EU average when it comes to recycling and investing on circularity. Yet, as admitted by the Prime Minister himself, the regional differences are massive. The Italian government planned to invest most of the money in the green transition. When it comes to circular economy, the strategies that Italy will deploy, orbit around the intention to bettering waste management, especially in households, sustainable farming and eating. In addition to all this, Italy committed itself to modernizing its capacity to recycle and re-use materials and by products coming from discharged electronic devices. The aim of sustainable farming will be achieved by making the agricultural system a “green supply chain”. Italy will do so by favoring and financing eco-design, protecting biodiversity and improving the quality and the sustainability of the food produced.

What is more is that, in order to solve the issue of regional differences, Italy planned to finance those projects that comprehend integration and involvement of communities and Italian islands. Italy will monitor closely the situation through financial, economic and technical instruments to overlook the development and the application of such directives. Overall, Italy’s commitment to the transition towards a zero-carbon economy is prioritized and in line with the EU’s objectives. However, treating circularity as a matter of waste management is reductive. Italy should do more in this regard. What is needed now is a smooth implementation phase that involves all level of governance and that coordinates the collective efforts towards the same objectives of the future.

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