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 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 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 three reasons:

1. Resource consumption

The global population is growing fast. It has quadrupled over the past 100 years, and is forecast to exceed nine billion by 2050. This is rapidly increasing demand for raw materials, while their availability is declining. Resources are needed for such things as food, water, shelter, clothes and electrical goods.

2. Dependence on other countries

Many raw materials are currently imported. The Netherlands imports a lot of magnesium from China, for example. In a circular economy the Netherlands will be much less dependent on other countries. Products that used to be discarded and incinerated will be used as a source of raw materials in the future.

3. Impact on the environment

Cars, trains and planes run on fuels like diesel, petrol and kerosene. The extraction and consumption of these resources have an impact on the environment. Higher energy consumption also increases carbon emissions. A circular economy will have a less negative impact on the environment and will reduce carbon emissions.