What do we see?
As a general rule, large amounts of raw materials are required to fulfil the need for consumer goods. The categories of textiles, EEE (electrical and electronic equipment) and furniture together account for more than 50% of the material footprint of the consumer goods need system. More specifically, in 2010 the need for consumer goods accounted for around 16% of the total material footprint of Flemish households. The material footprint has been increasing steadily over the years, only dropping in 2015.
In 2016, the material footprint reached 17,405.22 kt, of which 12% came from EEE, 16% from furniture, 28% from textiles and 44% from other consumer goods. While the material footprint for textiles has increased over the years, the footprint for EEE has slightly decreased. This could be due to the more lightweight EEE products on the market, which means a decrease in the overall amount of material needed to produce them.
What’s the aim?
A circular economy aims to minimise the material footprint of consumer goods throughout their lifecycle. This can be achieved by manufacturing and using products in smarter ways, such as by increasing the manufacturing efficiency and the use efficiency and intensity of products. Products as a service and reuse of products are good options for reducing the number of products needed and increasing their use intensity. Only when reuse and repair are no longer an option should products be recycled into secondary materials.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator measures the total primary material use that is needed to fulfil the final demand for consumer goods by Flemish households. It is expressed in kilotonnes of materials per year. The data for this system-level indicator comes from OVAM.