This web interface allows you to use a simplified module of DEFINE (called DEFINE-MATTER) in order to explore how the use of matter and the generation of waste are affected by the following key factors:
The rate of economic growth after 2022. With everything else given, the higher the rate of growth the higher the use of matter and the higher the generation of waste. The default value is 2.7% which is close to the current rate of growth of the global economy.
The recycling rate after 2022. An increase in this rate has a favourable effect on the use of matter and the generation of waste, since it permits the production of goods and services by relying more on already used matter and less on the extraction of new matter. The default value is 27% which is close to the current rate of recycling.
The material intensity after 2022. This is defined as the use of matter (in gigatonnes) per GDP (in trillion US$, 2017 prices). The higher the level of material intensity the more adverse the impact of economic activity on material depletion and the generation of waste. The default value is 0.65 gigatonnes per trillion US$, which is close to the current level of material intensity.
A brief description of the DEFINE-MATTER module, as well as of its equations, the values used in the interface and the steps via which the model can be simulated are available here.
Note: If the material depletion ratio becomes higher than 1, this means that the global economy has exhausted all its material reserves, thus further economic expansion is not possible. This is not shown in this interface, since the module does not include the feedback effects of matter depletion (as well as of waste generation) on economic growth. These effects are incorporated in DEFINE, but have been assumed away in the interface for simplification purposes.