Global resource use hit record high in 2021, despite pandemic slowdown

WOBO – resources, think before we use!

Reuse and recycling rates for all materials, globally, continue to stagnate below 9%

A record 101.4 billion tonnes of virgin raw materials were used globally last year, with nations and corporates failing to cut resource use and improve reuse and recycling at the rate demanded by climate science.

That is a headline finding from Circle Economy’s latest report, published 19 January 2022. The not-for-profit organisation publishes a report on the global state of circular economy progress every year to coincide with the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, which has this year been postponed from January to summer in light of the pandemic.

The report provides an update on global resource use, revealing that 101.4 billion tonnes of virgin materials were used in 2021, up from 100 billion in 2019. Despite this increase in consumption, there has been no improvement in the rate of reuse and recycling, which has stagnated at around 8.6%.


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