Circularity rates quantify the share of the total materials used in an economy that are recycled/recovered and fed back into the economy as secondary materials.

Questions addressed

  • To what extent can secondary materials satisfy the economy’s demand for raw materials?
  • Is a country advancing in the circular use of materials?

Data Sources

Data on circularity rates is provided by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat).


  • Circular Material Use Rate
    This indicator quantifies the share of materials recycled in overall material use (Domestic Material Consumption + the circular use of materials). The circular use of materials is approximated as the amount of waste recycled in domestic recovery plants, minus imported waste destined for recovery, plus exported waste destined for recovery abroad. For further information, see: Eurostat metadata.

    The circular material use rate is calculated using three European statistics: data on waste treatment, economy-wide material flow accounts, and international trade in goods statistics.
  • End-of-life recycling input rates (EOL-RIR)
    This indicator quantifies the contribution of various recycled materials to raw material demand. It measures how much production input is recycled scrap and waste derived from the treatment of products at their end-of-life (EOL).
    The EOL-RIR does not account for scrap that originates from manufacturing processes. Such process scraps have a known composition and are generally more homogeneous and not contaminated by other substances and therefore easier and more economically convenient to be collected and recycled.
    For further information, see: Eurostat metadata.

    EOL-RIR are calculated using Material System Analysis (MSA) data for the EU, International reports (e.g. UNEP-IRP, 2011), Industry data and scientific publications. Eurostat does not generate this data, but publishes it.