Figures - Nature and environment
The total volume of household waste increased slightly between 2000 and 2007 and subsequently declined. In 2015, the volume of collected household waste was 8.4 million tonnes, equivalent to 496 kg per inhabitant and 10 percent less than in 2007. Over 53 percent was separately collected waste, up from 46 percent in 2000.
The Dutch manufacturing industry produces around 14 million tonnes of non-hazardous waste per year. In 2015, the volume stood at 13.8 million tonnes, 1 percent more than in 2014 but 4 percent less than in 2010. Nearly all the waste generated (96 percent) is being recycled or used for the production of animal feed. Sixty percent of the waste originates from the food, beverages and tobacco industry.
Nearly 60 percent of the Dutch livestock sector’s phosphate production originates from beef cattle manure. Phosphate levels have risen since 2013 due to the growing size of dairy herds after milk quotas were abolished. Phosphate production fell again by 2 percent in 2016, mainly as a result of a reduced phosphate content in roughage.
In 2015, Dutch farmers bought 10 million kg of chemical crop protection products. Sales fluctuated depending on pests and diseases as well as the weather conditions during the growing season.
Greenhouse gas emissions rose by 4 percent year-on-year in 2015, an increase of 7.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents. Emission levels were 12 percent below the level of 1990. The target set by the Paris climate agreement, which the Dutch government has signed, is to achieve 25 percent lower emissions by 2020 relative to 1990.
Contamination of surface water due to nutrient and heavy metal runoff has declined signficantly. This is the result of a range of measures taken between 1990 and 2010 which were very effective. The total contamination load has declined further since then, but only slowly. The figures presented here only include emissions to inland waterways, i.e. the contamination load entering the North Sea is not included.
In 2015, Dutch companies in the sectors mining and quarrying, manufacturing and energy invested slightly under 2.1 bn euros in environmental provisions. The energy sector in particular invested strongly. The majority of investments made over the past decade have been towards limiting or preventing air pollution.
The farmland bird indicator shows a 60 to 70 percent decline in the breeding bird population on Dutch farmland since 1960. The number of breeding pairs fell from an estimated 4 million in 1960 to slightly over 1.5 million in 2015. Some species have become practically extinct in large parts of the Netherlands. An estimated 750 thousand to 1.1 million breeding pairs of the skylark population have disappeared since 1960. Furthermore, partridges (-93 percent), turtle doves (-92 percent), tree sparrows (-93 percent) and black-tailed godwits (-68 percent) have all become a rare sight.