Many steps on a long road

In the Paris Agreement, the international community agreed to limit the increase in the global temperature to a maximum of 2°C and push greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” in the second half of this century. This is important for our company, too, since it underscores the importance of recycling for protecting the global climate.

Germany wants to be largely greenhouse gas-neutral by the year 2050. The circular economy is making a huge contribution to this goal – and significant additional potential can be tapped, too. For this to happen, policy-makers must more clearly recognize the benefits of the circular economy. Der Grüne Punkt avoided 1.1 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent through recovery and recycling in 2016 alone.

Recovery Performance

Der Grüne Punkt collected, recovered, or recycled more than 1.7 million metric tons of packaging waste in 2016, returning the secondary raw materials that were extracted to the economic cycle. That’s as much as about 168 Eiffel Towers would weigh.

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Primary Energy:

Der Grüne Punkt’s recovery services saved 41 billion megajoules of primary energy in 2016. That’s the same amount of energy that 1,017 wind turbines generate in a year.

Eutrophication:

Der Grüne Punkt’s recovery services helped to reduce the pollution of water bodies by 559,000 kilograms of phosphate equivalent in 2016.

Acidification

Der Grüne Punkt’s recovery services meant that 3,900,000 kilograms less sulfur dioxide equivalent entered the atmosphere in 2016. That also helped to cut the acidification of air, water bodies, and the soil.

Greenhouse gas effect:

The emission of 1.1 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent was avoided in 2016. The amount of CO2 saved by Der Grüne Punkt is the same amount of CO2 that 110,000 ha of forest filters from the air each year.

Fossil resources:

Recycling saved 350 million kilograms of crude oil equivalent. That’s enough for nearly 220,000 compact cars with an average yearly mileage of just under 10,000 miles to hit the asphalt for an entire year.

Beacon projects:

Pioneering Work

Tomorrow’s cleaning product bottles will be made entirely out of recycled plastic collected in yellow bags. Werner & Mertz landed the 2016 Deutscher Verpackungspreis (“German Packaging Prize”) in the sustainability category for its efforts in this field. For the first time, the company has succeeded in making recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) usable in new packaging. From an environmental standpoint, this bottle represents a milestone since it is completely recyclable and can be kept in the economic cycle for a long time. Henkel has worked together with Der Grüne Punkt and the packaging manufacturer ALPLA to have a recycled HDPE content of 15 percent in bottles for Perwoll Wolle & Feines for the first time in Germany. Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care division has thus moved a big step closer to its goal of using recycled plastics in more than one billion pieces of packaging by the end of 2016.

We can do even more

Der Grüne Punkt is a pioneer. And pioneers don’t stand still. They regularly scrutinize what they do. That’s the reason why Der Grüne Punkt commissioned an extensive study on the ecological achievements of the Dual System in Germany. Öko-Institut, a leading European research institute, feels that there is vast potential if the framework conditions change. Waste management already protects our environment and our cli- mate. However, the yellow bag and the yellow bin contribute four times more to environmental than residual waste, even though residual waste volumes are five times larger.

sustainability report 2015/2016

Ecology Update 2015/2016

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