The Netherlands is a circular frontrunner: the country's circularity rate is three times higher than the global rate of 8.6 per cent. Consuming 221 million tonnes of materials each year, the Netherlands retrieves a quarter from non-virgin, secondary sources, according to the Circularity Gap Report for the Netherlands, released by Circle Economy.
The report identifies four key areas to deliver circular change: construction, agriculture, energy and manufacturing. Measures in these four key sectors can triple the national circularity rate and help the government achieve its ambitions for a fully circular economy by 2050. "If adopted, our recommendations would result in reducing the material consumption by over 128 million tonnes, and elevate the economy from 24.5 per cent to 70 per cent circular," says the report.
2020 is a key year in the transition to circular economy. "Our findings come at a time when the Netherlands has not only set out to become fully circular by 2050, but the country is also challenged to mend its post-covid-19 economy. At Circle Economy, we call on the Dutch government to recognise the circular economy as an opportunity to build back better," the report adds.
"Whilst the Netherlands should be commended for already being a frontrunner in the race to circularity, where all materials are cycled back into the economy, there is still much to do. We risk global disaster if resource consumption continues to spiral unchecked. The Netherlands has the opportunity to become an example to other nations of how to make progress towards a better future. And now, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the fragility of our linear system; we urgently need a more resilient and future-proof economy. The time for action is now," says Marc de Wit, lead author and director of Global Alliances at Circle Economy.