R-ladder and Ladder of Lansink

8 February 2024

There are several models to indicate the degree of circularity. Perhaps the best known are the R-ladder and Lansink's Ladder, which are widely used by government agencies.

The strategies of the R-ladder

The R-ladder consists of six steps, R1 to R6. The higher a strategy is on the R-Ladder, the lower its resource use and therefore the more circular it is. The 6 strategies of the R-Ladder are explained below.

R1. Refuse and Rethink.

R1 is the highest step of the R-ladder, the highest degree of circularity. R1 is about getting rid of products or materials that you don’t actually necessarily need. Minimalism ties in well with this, making products redundant by abandoning function. On the other hand, R1 is also about intensifying product use. This can be done, for example, by sharing products with others or making/using products multifunctional.

R2. Reduce

R2 is about reducing resource consumption. Raw materials should be used more efficiently by creating less waste of raw materials during production. Raw materials are also reduced during the use of products.

R3. Re-use

The third step of the R-ladder is reuse, or in other words reusing a discarded but still good product, in the same function by another user. There are several platforms that give used products a second life.

R4. Repair, Refurbish, Remanufacture and Repurpose (repair, refurbish, overhaul and reuse)

To extend the life of products, a broken product can be repaired for use in its former function. Refurbishment and/or modernisation also belong to this step. Even using parts of a discarded product in a new product with the same or a different function belongs to R4.

R5. Recycling

Step 5 brings you to raw materials. Processing materials into raw materials with the same or lower quality than the original raw material is recycling.

R6. Recover

The lowest step of the R-ladder is recover. In a circular economy, as few materials as possible end up at this step. Should this still occur, the materials are incinerated with energy recovery.

Ladder of Lansink

The Ladder of Lansink is also known as the waste hierarchy. This ladder distinguishes three categories of dealing with waste. Prevention and reuse have the highest priority. Then recycling and high-quality energy recovery. The least preferred is incineration or landfill of waste.
When the Lansink Ladder is given a circular look, the bottom two steps (incineration and landfill) are dropped. The energy step is then the lowest and equals the R6 (recover) of the R ladder.


With GreenMatter, we recycle worn-out artificial grass pitches and turn them into new solutions. These solutions are applied in different ways in projects. One client buys a number of GreenMatter picnic tables to add to a terrace. In another project, we supply picnic tables because picnic tables need replacing, but it also happens that we replace parts of products. For example, we were commissioned by the municipality of Amsterdam to replace all bridge deck boards at Sportpark Middenmeer with GreenMatter deck boards fitted with grip strips.
So the various applications can be classified in a different tier each time. In any case, GreenMatter solutions always offer the following advantages:

– Reuse of raw materials
– Putting its own waste stream of worn artificial grass pitches into motion
– Longer lifespan
– 100% recyclable
– Maintenance-free

Recycle the present, save the future.

Related applications

RéVé opts for green parking spaces

From a worn artificial grass pitch to new recycled sports floor

Amsterdam municipality: forerunner in circularity

Questions? We can be reached via +31 (0) 252 683 300 and [email protected]