NL residents recycling more, consuming less materials than other EU countries

In 2018 residents of the Netherlands used 20 percent less materials per resident than in 2000. This involves materials like fossil fuels and metals processed into products like plastics. Netherlands residents recycle more than most other EU countries, but also create more waste, Statistics Netherlands said on Friday in a report on the Netherlands progress to a circular economy. 

The government's goal is for the Dutch economy to be completely circular by 2050. That means an economy without waste - all products that are made and used, must be used again afterwards. 

"The goal is to use as few new materials as possible," Frank Notten of Statistics Netherlands said, according to NOS. "The use of materials here is already lower compared to many other countries." In 2018, the Netherlands consumed 10 thousand kilograms of materials per inhabitant. Within the EU, only Spain and Italy consumed less. 

On the downside, the Netherlands is still creating a lot of waste. While the waste production per capita has fallen over the past years, it is still way above the EU average. In 2018, the Netherlands created 2,500 kilograms of waste per resident, compared the the EU average of 1,800 kilos per resident. Only Finland, Luxembourg, Belgium and Estonia produce more waste per inhabitant. 

A large part of the created waste is recycled in the Netherlands, an area where the country is doing well. "If you recycle more, you need fewer resources," Notten said. "We use the material we use very efficiently. We achieve relatively high economic growth with little material." Every year, the Netherlands recycles around 1,700 kilograms per inhabitant. Only Belgium and Luxembourg recycle more.