The indicator measures the share of material recovered and fed back into the economy - thus saving extraction of primary raw materials - in overall material use. The circular material use rate (CMU rate) is thus defined as the ratio of the circular use of materials (U) to the overall material use (M). The overall material use M is measured by the aggregate DMC plus the amount of circular use of materials U (M = DMC + U). DMC is the domestic material consumption as defined in economy-wide material flow accounts. The circular use of materials (U) is approximated by the amount of waste recycled in domestic recovery plants, minus imported waste destined for recovery, plus exported waste destined for recovery abroad (U = RCV_O – IMPW + EXPW). RCV_O is the recovery other than energy recovery - except backfilling - as defined in the Waste Framework Directive 75/442/EEC. Eurostat's international trade in goods statistics (ITGS) are used to approximate the imports and exports of waste destined for recycling, i.e. the amount of imported waste bound for recovery (IMPW), and the amount of exported waste bound for recovery (EXPW). Then, the CMU rate is formalised as following: CMU = U/M = (RCV_O - IMPw + EXPw)/(DMC + (RCV_O - IMPw + EXPw)) A higher CMU rate value indicates more secondary materials substituting for primary raw materials i.e. avoiding the environmental impacts of extracting primary material.
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Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
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