What do we see?
In 2019, the total amount of reuse in Flanders was measured for the first time. The total amount came to 221,000 tonnes of goods, which equates to 33.8 kg per inhabitant.
The figures indicate that informal channels are a much more important source of reuse than the formal channels like reuse centres and second-hand shops. Receiving (21%) or buying (16%) goods from family or friends are the most popular reuse methods. The recognised reuse network came in third (15%), followed by online second-hand sales (14%).
What’s the aim?
Reuse is a key circular strategy. More reuse is therefore seen as an indication of a more circular economy. However, we do need to watch out for rebound effects here: on the one hand, there are the possible income effects whereby consumers can (and do) buy more with the same budget. On the other hand, substitution effects can also occur. This is where the consumer buys extra items instead of second-hand goods as a replacement for the purchase of a new product.
There are no formal targets for reuse.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator measures circular reuse in Flanders. By reuse, we mean that when someone no longer wishes to use a product, it does not get discarded, but rather goes to a new owner, for free or otherwise. This reuse indicator was estimated based on the known figures from the recognised reuse centres. In addition, a survey was carried out among the Flemish population to provide insight into how reuse is distributed across the six so-called reuse channels:
- Recognised reuse centres
- Private second-hand shops
- Online second-hand sales
- Second-hand fairs and flea markets
- Family and friends
- ‘Free channels’, like donation days
Houses and motorised vehicles are not included in this indicator.