The multi-thematic statistical book “Energy, transport and environment statistics” comprises a broad set of data collected by Eurostat. The 2020 edition was released in November 2020 and it highlights the EU Member States Circular material use rate data from 2010 to 2017.

Concerning the SMART WASTE partners’ respective EU Member States, Circular material use rate in 2017 range from 4,8% for Lithuania to 29,9% for the Netherlands (the highest among all Member States) whereas the average rate on the EU-27 level is 11,2%.

Detailed overview of the Circular material use rate in 2017 for the SMART WASTE partners’ respective EU member states, followed by a corresponding percentage change compared with 2010, is given below:

o    Lithuania (P3 - KRWMC): 4,8% (+0,9%)
o    Bulgaria (P4 – BAMEE): 5,1% (+3%)
o    Denmark (P2 - Municipality of Kolding): (8,0%)
o    EU 27: 11,2% (+0,5%)
o    Italy (LP – ARRR): 17,7% (+6,1%)
o    Belgium (P5 - ACR+): 17,8% (+5,2%)
o    Netherlands (P6 - Municipality of Apeldoorn): 29,9% (+4,6%)

The publication highlights several important points. First of all, the circularity rate is lower than other indicators of circularity, such as recycling rates, which are around 56 % in the EU and that is because some types of materials cannot be recycled, e.g. fossil fuels burned to produce energy or biomass consumed as food or fodder. Furthermore, examples of materials which are counted within the circularity rate are food and fodder, and fossil fuels for energy production or for material use - e.g. plastics, buildings, infrastructure, and vehicles. Only some of these materials, at the end of their life cycle, end up as waste and thus count in recycling rates. Moreover, it stresses that the differences in the circularity rate across Member States are not only due to the amount of recycling in each country, but also to structural factors in national economies. The circularity rate is high if the amount of waste recycled is high. However, the circularity rate could also be high if domestic material consumption is low, i.e. the materials that the country consumes (biomass, metals, minerals, fossil fuels, etc.). In turn, this happens if domestic extractions of materials for use in the country are low, imports of materials for use in the country are low, or exports of domestically extracted materials are high.

Source and more information: