Need for a circular economy

The global population continues to grow rapidly, increasing demand for raw materials, while supplies are decreasing. The government is therefore working with industry, decentralized authorities and civil society to ensure that by 2050 the Dutch economy will run entirely on reusable materials. In this circular economy, there will be no more waste, as resources will be reused again and again.

A healthy planet and a strong economy

Smarter and more efficient use of resources will in the future enable people to enjoy a prosperous life on a healthy planet, with a strong and sustainable economy. A circular economy is needed for two reasons:

1. Opportunities to improve the environment

A circular economy can be an important instrument to tackle the current triple planetary crises on climate, biodiversity and pollution. By keeping resources in the loop for longer, we’ll avoid emitting greenhouse gases caused by the energy needed to make products. It will also lead to a reduction of habitat loss, which will improve biodiversity. Finally, less waste will mean less pollution, such as plastic soup in our oceans.  

2. Independence from other countries

Many raw materials are currently imported from abroad. Because of the international dependence on the supply of important raw materials for industry, but also food, the Netherlands is vulnerable to supply chain problems. In a circular economy, the Netherlands is much less dependent on other countries. In the future, secondary materials will be extracted from products that were previously destroyed and incinerated.