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EU’s circular material use rate slightly up in 2022




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In 2022, the EU’s circular material use rate (referred to as the circularity rate; the share of used material resources which came from recycled waste materials) reached 11.5%, meaning that 11.5% of material resources used in the EU came from recycled waste materials. 

This information comes from data on circular material use rate published by Eurostat on 14 November. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

Compared with 2021, the circularity rate increased by 0.1 percentage points (pp). Between 2010 and 2022, the rate increased by 0.8 pp from 10.7% to 11.5%, however, the highest shares were observed in 2018 and 2020: 11.6%. 

In 2022, the circularity rate was highest in the Netherlands (27.5%), followed by Belgium (22.2%) and France (19.3%). The lowest rate was recorded in Finland (0.6%), Romania (1.4%) and Ireland (1.8%). Differences in the circularity rate among EU countries are based not only on the amount of recycling in each country but also on structural factors in national economies.

Bar chart: Circular material use rate in the EU, 2022

Source dataset: env_ac_cur

In 2022, the highest circularity rate by main type of material was metal ores with 23.9% (+0.6 pp compared with 2021), followed by non-metallic minerals with 13.7% (-0.1 pp), biomass 10.0% (+0.6 pp) and fossil energy materials/carriers with 3.2% (no change). 

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