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Title: Circular economy in plastic waste: efficiency analysis of European countries
Author: Robaina, Margarita
Murillo, Kelly
Rocha, Eugénio
Villar, José
Keywords: Circular economy
Plastic waste
Efficiency analysis
European countries
Issue Date: 15-Aug-2020
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: The way plastics are currently produced, used and disposed does not capture the economic benefits of a more 'circular' approach and is dramatically harming the environment. It is relevant to determine which European countries can be considered more or less efficient in the end-of-life of plastic products processes, what the sources of the inefficiencies are, and how those less efficient countries could improve their performance towards a more circular economy. Although some countries have developed a variety of quantitative indicators, there is scarcity of adequate metrics for performance measurements. This paper estimates the efficiency of 26 European countries in the context of Circular Economy, for the period 2006-2016, considering the generation of waste, recovery and recycling of plastic, with a methodology based on the Multidirectional Efficiency Analysis. Apart from identifying the most efficient countries in the studied period, results show that efficiency increases for most countries with time, and that many countries reach the full efficiency by the end of the study period, and especially by 2016. Input analysis shows that increasing capital seems to be a main driver towards efficiency, since the other inputs are used with a similar efficiency by most countries. Output analysis suggest that the difference among countries efficiency is not in their reduction of total waste or emissions, but rather in the improvement of their economic growth in a circular way, that is, improving GDP but also the recovering and recycling activities. These results could be useful to design policies towards a more efficient and circular use of plastics.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139038
ISSN: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:DMat - Artigos
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