Material flows

The consumption of goods affects the environment in many ways. First of all, natural resources are needed as input for the production process. Their extraction may cause their depletion. Secondly, environmentally harmful substances may be released into the environment during the production process. Eventually goods are discarded and become waste that requires further treatment. This development puts pressure on the security of supply of some materials. Material flow accounts describe the inputs, throughputs and outputs of goods in the economy in material terms. They include all goods that enter or leave the economy  ranging from raw materials, semi-finished products and final products.