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Cologne, 25 August 2020. Everyone talks about CO2, and what most of them think of first in this context is mobility and energy supply. But waste separation and the circular economy in themselves can save enormous amounts of climate-hostile greenhouse gases: in 2019, Der Grüne Punkt avoided the emission of 1.02 million tons of CO2 equivalents, by recovering and recycling a good 1.7 million tons of packaging waste. This corresponds to the annual CO2 emission caused by 85,000 German citizens (source: http://www.uba.co2-rechner.de/de_DE/). “This means that our work is rendering the inhabitants of a city like Constance on the eponymous lake climate-neutral,” explains Michael Wiener, CEO of Der Grüne Punkt.
Every year, Der Grüne Punkt computes an environmental performance balance, with detailed figures quantifying the ecological impact of its work. Does the recycling of packaging waste save energy and CO2 at all? Or is the outlay involved (electricity, transportation, etc.) higher than the savings achieved? What about the other ecological impact categories? Does recycling make a contribution towards protecting soils from acidification and bodies of water from eutrophication?
“In all of the impact categories examined, Der Grüne Punkt achieves substantial environmental benefits,” emphasizes Michael Wiener. “Climate protection does, of course, enjoy top priority – But recycling protects our natural environment in all the fields scrutinized, reduces eutrophication and acidification, and thus also helps to enhance biodiversity.”
Potentials are (as yet) untapped
There is a long way to go, though, before all the potentials offered by recycling will be exploited to the full. “Even today, too many raw materials are still being used only once and then incinerated or disposed of,” says Michael Wiener. “That has a negative impact in all areas concerned. In particular, we will have to replace significantly higher volumes of new plastic by premium recycled plastics.” For example, 61.8 million tons of plastic are produced in Europe every year but only an estimated 5.5 million tons of plastic recyclates.
Studies point to the fact that 55 percent of the global greenhouse gas savings needed to comply with the 1.5-degree target can be achieved by an energy turnaround – this means that nearly half of the savings will have to come from other fields, e.g. from sustainable agriculture and forestry but also from rigorous introduction of the circular economy. “Our environmental performance balance shows that sustainable use of plastics, in particular, i.e. plastics recycling as well, are indispensable prerequisites for meaningful climate protection,” emphasizes Michael Wiener.
Capture: In 2019, Der Grüne Punkt recovered a total of 1.7 million tons of packaging waste, thus preventing emission of a good million tons of CO2 equivalents. That corresponds to the climate-hostile emissions caused by 85,000 German citizens in one year.
You will find further information under www.gruener-punkt.de/en/environmentalperformancebalance
Your contact person:
Norbert Völl, Tel.: +49 22 03 / 937-507
About the Der Grüne Punkt Group:
The companies of Der Grüne Punkt are service providers for extended producer responsibility, leading suppliers of secondary raw materials for plastics, and premium producers of plastic recyclates, and as such positioned as the premier solution providers for the needs of the circular economy. Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD), with the Green Dot as its trademark, was among the companies to introduce and establish the dual system in Germany, and stands for intelligent take-back systems, plus the development and marketing of innovative recyclates and services. Systec Plastics, at its facilities in Eisfeld and Hörstel, produces premium-quality recyclates under the Systalen brand name for the international market. The companies are grouped together in DSD – Duales System Holding GmbH & Co. KG.