Repair indicator

This indicator shows the repair of products in Flanders.

10 million repairs

  • Approximately 10 million repairs in 2023.
  • We mainly do repairs ourselves, or through family.
  • More and more bicycle and EEE repairs are done by professionals.

What do we see?

In 2023, repair as a circular strategy in Flanders was mapped in detail for the first time. This was done on the basis of two data sources: a broader survey and an analysis of the household budget survey.

The survey probed both formal and informal recovery channels. A total of 9.7 million products were recovered, representing 1.78 items per adult. Based on the household budget survey, which captures paid activities, it was estimated that 12,039,678 repairs were carried out, or 4.16 items per household.

From the survey, we see that repairs are most often carried out in-house or within the family. Repairs by independent repairers come third, followed by repairs at the retailer or seller. The majority of goods repaired are textiles, EEE and bicycles.

The household budget survey allows us to track trends over several years in terms of paid repair. In 2022, a Flemish household spent an average of € 218 on repairs. The number of repairs has increased sharply since 2012, with the exception of a dip in COVID year 2020. Bicycles and to EEE increasingly make up the majority of repairs.

What’s the aim?

Repairing means fixing a utensil, appliance or product so that its owner can use it for longer. Repairing is a high-ranking strategy in the circular hierarchy and we like to see this activity increase: by repairing, we ensure that products can perform their function for longer and the purchase of new appliances as well as the disposal of products can be postponed. There are no specific targets on repair, but measures to increase repair and the communication about it are in the pipeline at Belgian and EU level.

What does this indicator measure?

The survey was conducted online among a representative sample of the Belgian adult population. Respondents were asked which and how many products they repaired or had repaired in the last 12 months. An average mass was assigned to each product type to estimate the total size. These types included all products in and around the house, such as (electric) bicycles, EEE, furniture, textiles, etc. Repair and maintenance of buildings or built-in products (e.g. doors, boilers, radiators) and motorised vehicles were not included.

The household budget survey calculation is based on Belgian households’ expenditure on repairs on a biennial basis, converted to Flanders on a population basis. The number of repairs was derived via an estimate of the price of a repair. Repairs that do not involve a monetary transaction (neither a labour cost nor the purchase of a spare part) are not included in this measurement. The figures include repair of large and small EEE, telecommunications equipment, bicycles, textiles and clothing, shoes and leather, furniture and floor coverings. Repair of motorised vehicles, home repairs and repair of other (personal) items such as jewellery, glasses or watches are excluded.

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