top of page

How circular is the Polish economy?

Poland has a circularity rate of 10.2%, meaning that the "gap" in the circularity of our economy is as high as 89.8%.

This gap reflects the use of primary resources in Poland. Out of all materials flowing through our economy, from metal ores and non-metallic minerals to biomass and fossil fuels, only one-tenth consists of secondary resources. For comparison, the global economy's circularity is 8.6%, Sweden has 3.4%, and Norway has 2.4%. The Netherlands had the highest circularity level so far at 24.5%.

In Poland, we consume a total of 13.8 tons of materials per person annually. This figure is moderate compared to other European countries, but Poland's material footprint is still higher than the global average of 11.9 tons per person per year, significantly exceeding our planet's regenerative capacity. If everyone on the globe consumed like an average Pole, we would need not one but three planets! There is no doubt that we need to reduce our excessive consumption.

The Circularity Gap Report proposes scenarios that allow for a reduction in material and carbon footprints by 40.4% and 49.1%, respectively, and a doubling of circularity levels to 19.9%. The proposed scenarios are:

  1. Close loops in construction,

  2. Implement circular food systems,

  3. Transition to sustainable transport,

  4. Embrace circular production,

  5. Extend the life of goods like new, and

  6. Power Poland with clean energy.

Potential additional benefits include increased supply chain resilience to shocks, less polluted cities, and improved public health. By implementing these actions and reducing the circularity gap, thus also reducing consumption, Poland will achieve the commendable goal of mitigating environmental pressure, limiting resource depletion, and improving the social fabric. There is significant room for improvement in both the natural environment and the social sphere.

The report was created as part of the Circular Restart! project led by the Institute of Innovation and Responsible Development (Innowo) in collaboration with the Norwegian strategic agency Natural State and the Dutch non-profit organization Circle Economy. The project was funded under the EEA and Norway Grants program.

Report available here:

Circularity Gap Poland
Download PDF • 7.67MB


bottom of page