Developed world using more raw materials than previously thought

Developed countries are using raw materials to sustain their economies at a much higher rate than that being captured in current reporting methods, according to a new study.

In 2008, for example, 10 billion metric tonnes of raw materials extracted globally were physically traded, but three times as many resources were used to enable the processing and export of these traded materials. It is the resources that don’t leave their country of origin that are inaccurately captured by current reporting models, researchers say.

Authors of the study used a new reporting model - the “material footprint” - which mapped the flow of metal ores, biomass, fossil fuels and construction minerals across the world over two decades.

Read more at Macquarie University