JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2015, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (11): 1811-1822.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2015.11.003

• Resource Ecology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An Assessment of Dematerialization and Effects of Circular Economy Based on Material Flows Analysis

WANG Hong   

  1. Institute of Quantitative & Technical Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100732, China
  • Received:2014-09-12 Revised:2015-04-20 Online:2015-11-14 Published:2015-11-14


Material flow analysis is a physical measurement tool to assess economy and the environment. By measuring the quantity, intensity and changing trend of material flows, the materialization or dematerialization trend of economy can be identified and the general state of resource depletion and environmental degradation and the impacts of the adoption of circular economy in China can be assessed. Employing both statistical and econometrics methods, this paper tries to analyze the direct material input (DMI) between the year 2000 and 2014 and its relationship with certain economic features, assess DMI intensity and its changing trend and identify the impacts of resource recycling and reuse in China. This paper finds that, in the past 14 years, total DMI has been steadily increasing while DMI intensity in terms of GDP increased before it decreased, suggesting that China has begun the process of relative dematerialization since 2004. The ratio of secondary sector of economy is identified to have Granger caused the factor of DMI intensity, as when the ratio rises the DMI intensity rises, and vise versa. With the development of circular economy in China, the total waste material recycled and reused has increased 1.76 times to 1.863 billion tons, but the ratio to total DMI has been very low and has no statistically significant impacts on DMI intensity; and the per capita intensity and total DMI will continue to rise in the foreseeable future.

CLC Number: 

  • F062.2