Der Grüne Punkt - 14. May 2020

SRU: circular economy has stalled

The German Advisory Council’s Environmental Report pinpoints serious shortfalls / Management of plastics is of crucial importance for climate protection

German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU)
German Advisory Council on the Environment (Photo: SRU)

Cologne, 14 Mai 2020. The Environmental Report presented today by the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) pinpoints serious shortfalls in implementing the circular economy in Germany, especially in regard to plastics: “As far as plastics are concerned – including those used in packaging – you cannot speak of an established circular economy in Germany,” states Michael Wiener, CEO of Der Grüne Punkt. “The Advisory Council has identified a sore point here.” There are no standards, he continues, for plastics recycling, and far too few incentives given for high-quality recycling, in particular.

“Empirical data show that plastics management is at present miles away from […] the circular economy,” to quote an excerpt from the report. The quantity of plastics used, the report continues, has to be reduced and the framework conditions for keeping significantly more plastics in the closed cycle must be improved: “In this context, both the quality and the quantity of the recyclates currently obtained and used must be increased, enabling primary raw materials to be replaced to an ever-greater extent. Established instruments of waste management and the circular economy for products with a plastics content are at the moment not capable of developing the requisite steering effect.”

“We, too, are in actual fact observing that plastics recycling is not really getting anywhere. The recyclate quantities remain small and due to the slump in oil prices will not increase, either,” is Michael Wiener’s firm conviction. And this, he continues, even though adequate plastics management is of crucial importance for climate protection. To quote the SRU: plastics consume ten to 13 percent of the global carbon budget that is the remaining maximum available for reaching the 1.5-°C warming target. “Just how much our use of plastics influences the climate change is underestimated, especially in Germany,” says Michael Wiener. “If we don’t succeed in finally keeping plastics in a closed cycle, that will put our climate-protection targets at risk.” Therefore, he continues, the stimulus packages planned as part of the Green Deal have to be ecologically future-viable and invest in solutions that promote sustainable development for the economy.

Your contact person:
Norbert Völl, Tel.: +49 (0) 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.

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