The Netherlands consumed more than 20 percent fewer materials in 2018 than in 2000. Material consumption per inhabitant is lower than the average in the European Union (EU) and the so-called raw material footprint per inhabitant is smaller. The Central Bureau of Statistics reports this on Friday in the publication Circular Economy in the Netherlands .
Material consumption in the Netherlands during the entire measured period was already considerably lower than in neighboring countries Belgium and Germany and many other European countries. "Only three countries, Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy, had a lower material consumption," says CBS.
The consumption of materials involves both raw materials and materials that are used in products. Belgium consumed only 6 percent fewer materials per inhabitant in the 2000-2018 period. Germany not even 10 percent.
Materials can be divided into four categories: biomass (such as milk and wood), fossil (such as plastic and gasoline), metal (such as machines and cars) and non-metal mineral (such as sand and concrete).
Relatively small and densely populated
The Dutch raw material footprint - the amount of raw materials needed to make semi-finished products and end products - is also considerably smaller than the average in the countries of the European Union.
According to the CBS, this can mainly be explained by the fact that we use fewer minerals and that is also due to the fact that the Netherlands is a relatively small and densely populated country. "As a result, relatively little material is needed per capita for the construction of infrastructure, such as roads."
The Netherlands also belongs to the European leading group when it comes to recycling. More waste is only reused in Luxembourg and Belgium.