Circular Material Use Rate (CMUR)

The circular material use rate (CMUR), is the ratio of circular use of materials to overall material use. It focuses on a country’s efforts to collect waste for recycling and recovery.


Around one sixth of the total material consumption in Flanders consists of recycled materials.

What do we see? 

Between 2014 and 2020, the CMUR first increased from 15.0 to 17.7% in 2018 before falling to 16.3% in 2020. The numerical value of the CMUR is determined by the Domestic Material Consumption and the stream of recycled materials. The latter stream consists mainly of non-metallic minerals (about 73%) and biomass (about 18%). These material flows were slightly lower in 2020 and this largely determines the decrease compared to 2018; the DMC in both years was almost identical. The COVID crisis in the last year for which there are data currently complicates further interpretation.

What’s the aim?

In a circular economy, the long-term goal is to move towards an economy that consumes fewer materials. This can be done by keeping materials in circulation for as long as possible, for example through recycling. The CMUR is a measure of this circularity. However, other strategies in the circular economy, such as repair or reuse, are not captured by this figure. It also does not distinguish between the qualities of recycled materials.

The European Commission set an EU-wide target of doubling the CMUR over the next decade in 2020. The value in 2020 was 11.6%.

What does this indicator measure?

The CMUR indicator is defined as the ratio of circular use of materials (U) to overall material use (M):


The overall use of materials (M) is the sum of the domestic material consumption (DMC) and the circular use of materials (U):

M = DMC + U

This brings us to the complete formula:

CMUR = U/(DMC + U)

The circular use of materials (U) is the amount of waste recycled in domestic recovery plants minus the waste that was imported for recycling, plus the exported waste destined for recovery abroad: 

The circular use of materials (U)

= amount of waste recycled in domestic recovery plants 

– import of waste for recovery/recycling 

+ export of waste for recovery/recycling

Discover more topics

Share of industrial waste getting a second life

Share of industrial waste getting a second life

Primary industrial waste is the waste produced by companies (excluding waste from the waste processing sector). This indicator...
Household waste recycling
65.6% effectively recycled

Household waste recycling

This indicator shows the extent to which household waste in Flanders is recycled, composted or fermented.
Production of secondary raw materials
25.8 million tonnes

Production of secondary raw materials

Secondary raw materials are originally by-products or materials that have reached the end of the waste phase and can...
Reuse indicator
238 kt (35.5 kg/cap)

Reuse indicator

This indicator measures circular reuse in Flanders. By reuse, we mean that when someone no longer wishes to use...
Repair indicator
10 million repairs

Repair indicator

This indicator shows the repair of products in Flanders.