Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center
 Yauheniya Shershunovich, Irina Tochitskaya

On the Way to a Circular Economy: Monitoring Belarus’ Progress Based on the EС Framework

This paper presents an assessment of Belarus’ progress on the way to the circular economy as compared to a number of the European countries. The monitoring framework proposed by the European Commission is chosen for these purposes, since its indicators capture the key elements of a circular economy, have a high degree of practical application, are easy to analyze and informative. The existing system of recording in Belarus does not permit to calculate some indicators used by the European Commission. The assessment has also revealed that a number of indicators need adjusting. First, the high share of saline waste in the total generation of waste in Belarus—about 63-68 % in 2012-2017—precludes valid comparisons to those countries that do not have a developed potash industry. Second, in order to obtain reliable results, it is necessary to take into account the unique features of waste recording and movement associated with the fact that a significant part of the waste is locked up at storage sites. The study shows that Belarus has got a potential for reducing the generation of waste, increasing the recycling rate of municipal solid waste, as well as the recovery rate of construction and demolition waste, and expanding the substitution of primary resources with secondary raw materials. The transition to a circular economy calls for investments in engineering and design services, waste recycling technologies and processes, upgrading existing production facilities to improve the resource efficiency and the ability to work using secondary raw materials. To create the conditions that encourage investment in circular economy sectors, it is advisable to take efforts to improve the reliability and international comparability of data, develop the quality standards for secondary raw materials, and build a public information platform, which would enable monitoring of the circular economy development and information exchange between all the stakeholders in this sector in Belarus.

This publication targets a broad audience and is the third in a series of papers on circular economy in Belarus prepared under the Development Project of the Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC) supported by SIDA. If you have any questions about the project, please, contact the Project Coordinator, Sergei Vaganov, greeneconomy@beroc.by.