Reuse indicator

This indicator measures total (product) reuse in Flanders across all formal and informal reuse channels. By product reuse we mean that a discarded product is used by another user in the same function. Houses and motorised vehicles are not included in this indicator.

238 kt (35.5 kg/cap)

  • In 2022 the total reuse in Flanders stood at 238 kilotonnes of goods, or 35.5 kg/capita.
  • The main reuse channels are passing on or selling to family and friends, and online selling.

What do we see?

In 2018, the total amount of recycling in Flanders was measured for the first time. The total amount was 221 kilotonnes of goods, corresponding to 33.8 kg per inhabitant. By 2022, the total reuse indicator has increased to 35.5 kg per inhabitant or 238 kilotonnes of goods.

Receiving (17%) or buying (16%) goods from family or friends are the most popular reuse methods, followed by online second-hand sales (16%). The recognised reuse network came in fourth (15%).

What’s the aim?

As a strategy, reuse ranks high in the circular hierarchy: more reuse is therefore considered an indication of a more circular economy. However, it is worth watching out for rebound effects: consumers are in fact able to buy more stuff with the same budget and/or they buy additional stuff instead of products that merely replace the purchase of new products.

There are no formal targets around total reuse (via all reuse channels), but there are targets for reuse via the recognised reuse centres in Flanders. The Local Materials Plan 2023-2030 sets a target of 8 kg reuse per inhabitant by 2030.

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures total reuse in Flanders. By reuse, we mean that a discarded product is used by another user in the same function. The estimate of reuse is based on the annual figures of reuse through the recognised recycling centres. In addition, a survey was also conducted among the Flemish population in 2019 and in 2022 to gain insight into the distribution of wider reuse across the various reuse channels:

  1. Recognised reuse centers (buying)
  2. Private physical second-hand shops and antique shops (buying)
  3. Online channels without a physical shop (buying and receiving)
  4. Second-hand fairs, garage sales and flea markets (buying and receiving)
  5. Family and friends (buying and receiving)
  6. Associations and local social initiatives (receiving)
  7. Other channels (buying and receiving)

Housing and motorised vehicles were not included in this indicator.

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