ETC/CE Report 2023/6 Analysis of the circular material use rate and the doubling target

25 Apr 2023

Maarten Christis, An Vercalsteren, Philip Nuss, Renato Marra Campanale, Sören Steger

This ETC CE report provides the detailed analysis underpinning the EEA briefing 'How far is Europe from reaching its ambition to double the circular use of materials?'.

This report analyses the progress made by the European Union (EU) in the circular material use rate (CMUR), supporting a better understanding of the observed status and trends. In addition, it provides a first simplified assessment of the prospects of the EU to move towards its ambition to double the CMUR within a decade, in the context of the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and the European Green Deal (EGD). Broadening the scope, the report looks also into unaccounted flows of recycled materials, a key driver of CMUR. It also complements the CMUR assessment by quantifying environmental impacts linked to material consumption, the main current driver of CMUR. This analysis helps to understand and interpret the observed status, trends and possible future developments for the CMUR, both on the total CMUR as well as on the CMUR for the four broad material categories as published by Eurostat. The insights are considered in the context of the CEAP’s aim of “doubling the CMUR in the coming decade” at the EU level. The integration of the environmental impact from material uses brings in different perspectives into the analysis and interpretation of the CMUR.