Eurostat: the EU’s circular material use rate rose slightly in 2022

In 2022, the EU’s circular material use rate (referred to as 'the circularity rate' and referring to the share of material resources which came from recycled waste materials) reached 11.5%. This means that 11.5% of material resources used in the EU came from recycled waste materials, as shown by data on circular material use rate published by Eurostat in November 2023.

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% but 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.

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).