Dairy products are extremely popular, but they need packaging, because without it there is no product protection, no transport safety and no buyer information. The packaging materials used do not always correspond to the idea of a recycling-friendly packaging design. How can this recycling-friendliness be implemented? Against the background of European and national regulations on packaging design, the Association of the German Dairy Industry informed its members about this together with experts from Der Grüne Punkt ("The Green Dot").
Green Dot Sales Manager Andreas Kappel was therefore keen to present the infrastructure for sorting and recycling used sales packaging in Germany. "Separation by type at the end of the sorting plant is a basic prerequisite for subsequent packaging recycling," says Kappel, "the manufacturer has a great, if not decisive, influence on this with his decision on materials and packaging concept."
Last but not least, fillers and producers are under pressure here. The German Circular Economy Act requires recycling-friendly design as part of product responsibility, while the German Packaging Act additionally places the emphasis on recycling of the highest possible quality: according to Section 21 of the Packaging Act, system operators must create financial incentives for the recycling-friendly design of packaging, the use of recyclates and of renewable raw materials. This financial incentive has yet to be defined.
Nevertheless, Green Dot already offers industry a wide range of assistance in aligning packaging design with the requirements. Says Christina Schulze, head of the Design4Recycling unit at Der Grüne Punkt: "We provide information on Design4Recycling criteria, show what makes standard packaging a good recyclable package, and explain how this recyclability can be measured. In addition, we offer a special label that shows recyclability on packaging." Last but not least, Green Dot has come full circle with the reprocessing of used plastic packaging from the yellow bag and yellow bin into high-quality recyclates for a variety of applications in the plastics processing industry.
"We were very pleased with the intensive exchange in the large circle of our member companies," said Karin Monke of the Association of the German Dairy Industry, "which is important in view of the complex information and high dynamics of these topics. The support provided by Green Dot with a wide range of offers on this topic is very helpful for our members and also for us as an association."