Experimental statistics: Circular economy indicators, Slovenia, 2016-2019

We are publishing experimental calculation of the circular economy indicators

For the first time SURS experimentally calculated the circular economy indicators. With them, it wants to show Slovenia’s progress in the transition to a circular economy, whose  purpose is to reduce the need for raw materials and increase the exploitation of secondary raw materials and waste. 

  • 2 March 2021 at 10:30
  • |
  • Experimental statistics

The main purpose of circular economy is to reduce the need for raw materials and increase the exploitation of secondary raw materials and waste. This could be realized if the value and usability of products, materials and resources are maintained in the economy for as long as possible. More life-cycles of a raw material or a product can be provided through various processes such as repair or remanufacture or reuse of the product and waste recycling. The transition to a circular economy is an opportunity to transform into a more sustainable and competitive economy.

The framework for monitoring progress was prepared by the European Commission in 2018. The proposed indicators are presented on Eurostat’s website showing the values of the indicators for all Member States. The circular economy indicators are divided into four dimensions: Production and consumption, Waste management, Secondary raw materials, and Competitiveness and innovation. Their purpose is to monitor progress towards a circular economy in the European Union.SURS has in the scope of experimental statistics analysed current condition at introducing the circular economy in Slovenia, study options for the preparation of indicators, with which we could monitor progress, search appropriate statistical sources and identify shortcomings and gaps in the data.

Following the methodology presented on the mentioned website, for the first time, SURS experimentally calculated indicators at the national level for the 2016–2019 period. So far we have calculated only indicators for which we have data at SURS. For the calculation of indicators, we used data from existing statistical sources, namely: waste statistics (ODP-nastajanje, ODP-zbiranje and ODP-obdelava surveys), statistics of exports and imports of goods (Exports and Import of Goods - Intrastat, Extrastat survey), structural business statistics (SSP/L), material flow accounts (RST survey) and national accounts (NR-BDP/L survey). 

Production and consumption indicators
Production and consumption indicators monitor progress in reducing the amount of all types of waste and consequently show an increase in self-sufficiency in selected raw materials.


Data sources on Self-sufficiency for raw materials and Green public procurement are not available yet. In the scope of Waste generation, the quantities are increasing every year at Generated municipal waste. In 2019, 44 kg per capita more were generated than in 2016. Generation of waste excluding major mineral wastes (construction and demolition waste, asbestos waste, waste minerals, soil and excavation waste), per GDP unit, decreased during the observed period, while it did not change significantly compared to domestic material consumption and amounted to about 11%.
The amount of Food waste generated in Slovenia has been increasing in recent years. From 132,000 tons in 2017, in 2019 the quantity increased by 9,000 tons.

Waste management indicators
Waste management indicators monitor the rate of waste that is recycled and thus actually returned to the production process, where they replace the use of raw materials.


Recycling of waste, both municipal and all waste (excluding mineral wastes), is increasing in Slovenia. The recycling rate of municipal waste is increasing every year and in 2019 it was almost 4 percentage points higher than in 2016, while the recycling rate of all waste (excluding major mineral wastes) increased by almost 5 percentage points. Also recycling of biowaste per capita increased every year and in 2019 it was almost 15 kg higher than in 2016. The rates of recycling of other individual waste streams (packaging of all types, e-waste) are at approximately the same level in the observed years. The recovery rate of construction and demolition waste was in all four observation years on the same high level, it was 98%.

Secondary raw materials indicators
Secondary raw materials indicators focus mainly on the contribution of recycled materials to raw material needs, in particular in terms of replacing the use of (primary) raw materials, increasing self-sufficiency in the supply of raw materials and reducing the environmental footprint of production and consumption.


In Slovenia, in line with the increase in recycling, the circular material use rate is also increasing. In 2019, it was almost 2 percentage points higher than in 2016. The indicator Trade in recyclable raw materials is divided into three more detailed indicators, namely Imports from non-EU countries, Exports to non-EU countries and Intra EU trade. Values are not increasing or decreasing in any of the three mentioned indicators.

Competitiveness and innovation indicators
Competitiveness and innovation indicators focus on monitoring progress in the initiation of the circular economy, where it contributes to job creation and the initiation of new, innovative technologies.


Gross investment in tangible goods, recalculated on GDP, ranged between 0.10% and 0.16% of GDP in the observed period. The share of persons employed (working in circular economy sectors - waste collection and disposal, wholesale / retail of scrap waste, second hand goods, repair of goods, machinery and equipment, trade and repair of motor vehicles) is relatively low, about 2%, and is decreasing. Data sources on the number of patents related to recycling and secondary raw materials are not available yet.

Certain indicators show that Slovenia is slowly moving in the direction of the circular economy. However, some fields need to be further improved. The recycling rates of waste are increasing; they are already relatively high and at the same time higher than the EU-28 average. This also increases the circular material use rate. Much remains to be done in Slovenia to start reducing the amount of waste generated, especially municipal waste, where we are above the EU-28 average.
The gap in the data needed to monitor the circular economy is represented by data sources on the production and use of secondary raw materials. We will try to develop monitoring of this area in the coming years.

Data are available in SiStat Database. 

METHODOLOGICAL NOTE
The data are published as experimental because the set of indicators is not yet final (it is still developing) and does not yet cover all the necessary attributes for monitoring the implementation of the circular economy in the country.

Visit our SiStat database.