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Resource Use - Material Flow

Material flow accounts record the total mass of natural resources and products that are used by an economy or an organisation.

Great Britain plc uses 880 million tonnes (mt) of solid material resources each year in order to achieve an annual net growth in the mass of goods of less than 10-15 mt.

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These resources may be used either directly in the production and distribution of products and services, or indirectly through the movement of materials which are displaced in order for production to take place.

Mass balance is the study of the balance between input and output of resources in a given organisation, locality or region.

More on Mass Balance

DEFRA established a balanced account of UK material flows and found that the main resource requirements for the UK are for fossil fuels, minerals, and metals. The main findings of the 2002 study are:

* Economic growth in the UK is becoming decoupled from the total use of materials.

* UK resource productivity is within the top five of the European Union.

* Despite these improvements, UK resource use still places high demands on the environment, and increasingly so on the environment of the UK's trading partners

Details of the RESOURCE USE AND EFFICIENCY OF THE UK ECONOMY Report can be found at DEFRA search engine

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2002 Edition