Every year 10 million tons of furniture are put on the EU market and about the same amount is discarded by businesses and consumers. The majority of furniture is destined for either landfill or incineration. In 2016, 5.0 tonnes of waste was generated per EU inhabitant.


Each inhabitant in Germany creates an average waste of 4.858 kg every year. Concerning the waste management side of the circular economy, Germany is one of the recycling pioneer-states within the EU. But regarding waste avoidance, product durability, recycling-friendly product design, and material efficiency, Germany still has great development potential – as does all of Europe.

The management and disposal of waste can have severe environmental impacts. Landfill, for example, takes up land space and may cause air, water, and soil pollution, while incineration may result in emissions of air pollutants.

The chart by Statista highlights the enormous variations between the major world economies in CO₂ emissions measured at the individual level. The average German, for example, is responsible for 8.88 metric tons, compared to 5.56 metric tons per person in the UK followed by 5.37metric tons and 4.38 metric tons in Italy and France, respectively. The United States, however, is the largest producer of carbon footprints per person with 14.95 metric tons.


The refurbishment and remanufacture of furniture guarantees that resources are kept in the economy. Otherwise, it would end up wasted in landfills or incinerators, which increases the amount of CO2 released in the atmosphere.

More things could be rented by individuals, as technology has encouraged. The internet makes it easier to share occupancy of cars and apartments through Uber and Airbnb, and people subscribe to music and other digital services rather than buying discs. Not only does it limit waste, but it gives companies an incentive to make things sturdily — better materials would require fewer repairs.

Mobelo, therefore, aims to reduce the environmental and health impacts of waste and to improve the EU’s resource efficiency. The long-term aim of these policies is to reduce the amount of waste generated and when waste generation is unavoidable to promote it as a resource and achieve higher levels of recycling and the safe disposal of waste.

It won’t be easy to reform the consumption habits of the past few decades, but all of us — consumers and companies — can try.

The benefits of a circular economy

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