In 2014, materials intended for consumption consisted of 15.9% of secondary raw materials. In 2016 it was 19% and in 2018 this percentage increased to 20.7%. “It’s good progress,” says Luc Alaerts, head of the Circular Economy Center. “But it’s also important to look more broadly: what is the quality of these secondary materials? The next steps are also necessary: sharing products becomes important, selling their use as a service, etc.
Flanders is a forerunner in Europe, particularly in the field of recycling. The waste streams themselves will also be reduced, but at the household level. In 2019, a Flemish produced on average 143.5 kilograms of residual waste, in 2013 it was still 158.6 kilograms. The goal of the Flemish government is to increase to 100 kilograms by 2030. “It’s still a long way off, staying focused is important.”
Companies have been producing more waste since 2012, after a drop recorded between 2007 and 2011. However, the increase is slowing down. “There is still work to be done here as well. ”
The monitor also offers some figures at the socio-economic level. For example, the Policy Research Center calculated that 43,261 employees were employed in the circular economy in 2020. Since 2008, this represents an increase of 16.4 percent, while global employment in Flanders has increased by 5, 8 percent. The difference between the two numbers is already significant, but it should become even more so, according to the report.
The Circular Economy Research Center, which brings together researchers from different universities, draws its conclusions by combining five years of research into a to watch. On the basis of more than 110 indicators, the progress made by Flanders in the field of the circular economy was examined. The indicators relate, for example, to consumer goods, mobility, food and housing. Each indicator provides detailed figures on the sustainability of a particular sector. “The monitor is the starting point for other political choices,” concludes Alaerts.
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