As per, Italy has the best recycling rates in urban areas, while Spanish citizens are the best at lowering the consumption of materials, in general. This is also a crucial part of becoming more sustainable, as avoiding impulsive or bulk purchases has an even greater positive impact on the planet.

Experts at the Circular Economy Network (CEN) and the National Agency for New Technology, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) analyzed a few countries, among which Germany, Italy and Poland, to find which has the best waste management and circular economy solution.

For the study, they looked at five categories, production and consumption, waste management, secondary raw materials, competitiveness and innovation, as well as ecological sustainability and resilience.

Italy led the pack with 45 points overall, followed by Germany, with 38, and France, with 30. Poland and Spain tied at 26 points each.

Despite having the lowest joint overall score Spain had the lowest consumption rate per citizen, at 9.8 tons in 2022, followed by Italy, with 12.8 tons. When it came to urban waste production per capita, Poland did best, with 365 kilograms per citizen, compared to Germany's 593 tons, which is higher than the EU average, in general.

The best circular performance, which implies reintegrating discarded materials in the economy, came from France, with 19.3% of the waste being reused, while Italy recorded 18.7%.

Germany, however, invested the most in circular economy, so that back in 2021, 31.5 billion euros were spent in this direction, compared to France's 20.4 billion euros and Italy, with 12.4 billion euros.

At the same time, over the past five years, all the countries included in the ranking recorded a drop in greenhouse gas emissions, with Germany cutting them by 15%, followed by Spain and France, with 13% and 8%, respectively.