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European Circular Economy Is Growing Fast

circular economy, reuse, recycle, remanufacture, eco-design, EU, Netherlands, UK

Resource productivity in the EU grew by 20% between 2000 and 2011. And another 30% is expected by 2030, resulting in an additional 2 million jobs.

The circular economy in Europe is growing fast. Products are remanufactured, reused, repaired and recycled.

Closing the Loop – from waste to raw materials.

It’s great to see how many materials are saved and how many jobs this circular economy is creating. Both the Netherlands and the UK are leading in the continent.

The benefits are clear: more jobs and a healthier environment.

2 million jobs

Resource productivity in the EU grew by 20% between 2000 and 2011. And another 30% is expected by 2030, resulting in an additional 2 million jobs. More and more industries implement waste prevention, eco-design, reuse and more. This results in reducing their CO2 footprint up to 2-4%.

Worldwide the market for green innovations is currently worth around €1 trillion per annum and is expected to triple by 2030.

Trendsetters: the Netherlands and the UK

It is estimated that currently the Netherlands already recycles 78% of its waste, incinerates 19% and dumps only 3%. Increasingly, businesses are cooperating in order to generate industrial symbiosis for example reusing waste, energy, water and material streams in an economically responsible way.

To increase the circularity of the Dutch economy, more maintenance and remanufacturing works, intensive reuse and recycling are becoming ‘normal’. Of course the country is small, transports of waste can be easily used or reused in the production of other goods and services like green energy.

The UK started a revolution with it’s report ‘Ending a throwaway society’. It was estimated that in 2010 the UK economy was 22% ‘circular’, up from 8% in 2000.

With developments in circular economy technologies it is estimated that by 2030 the UK economy’s circularity could increase to 27% while benefiting from a reduction in material consumption of 30 million tonnes a year.

Waste prevention is top priority. Followed by preparing for reuse, recycling, recovering of raw materials and green energy.

Benefits of the circular economy in the UK

  • Economy grows up to 3 billion pounds a year
  • Businesses could save 23 billion pounds from low/no cost improvements
  • Waste reduction initiatives could save 9 billion pounds a year
  • Remanufacturing has the potential to create between 5.6 and 8 billion pounds per annum and support over 310,000 jobs

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