Latvia well below EU average on circular material use

In 2020, the EU’s circular material use rate (referred to as the circularity rate) reached 12.8%.  This means that almost 13% of material resources used in the EU came from recycled waste materials. This information comes from data on circular material use rate published by Eurostat today.

Compared with 2019, the circularity rate increased by 0.8 percentage points (pp). The rate has maintained a stable growth trend since 2004 (8.3%), the first year for which data are available. 

Circular material use in EU, 2020

However, in Latvia the trend seems to be the reverse, despite frequent claims that the country is particularly "green", with a 2020 circularity rate of just 4.2%.

In 2016 Latvia had a circularity rate of 6.5%, but it fell subsequently to 5.4% in 2017, 4.7% in 2018 and 4.3% in 2019.

There are sharp differences between the Baltic states with Lithuania rising from 3.9% in 2019 to overtake Latvia with 4.4% in 2020 and Estonia outshining both with 17.3% circularity, better than the EU average.

In 2020, the circularity rate was highest in the Netherlands (31%), followed by Belgium (23%) and France (22%). The lowest rate was recorded in Romania (1%), followed by Ireland and Portugal (both 2%). Differences in the circularity rate among the Member States are based not only on the amount of recycling of each country but also on structural factors in national economies.

Circular materials use in EU
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