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Federal Environment Agency: More packaging waste than ever before

Coffee in a glass of paper on the way to work, lunch packed in plastic – maybe even ordering online: More and more packaging waste is accumulating in Germany. In 2017, it was almost 230kg per person.

The amount of packaging waste continued to grow in Germany. In 2017, 18.7 million tonnes were produced, according to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) – more than ever. It was 226.5 kg per person and three percent more than the previous year. Private consumers had a share of 47 percent or 107 kg per capita.

The reasons are food and beverages that need to be taken away and smaller, wrapped in plastic. In addition, there are more goods to be purchased online and then shipped by lot. "We use too much packaging," said UBA President Maria Krautzberger. "It's bad for the environment and for the consumption of raw materials."

Demand for reusable

Waste should be avoided as early as possible in the production phase. "Therefore, unnecessary and unnecessarily material intensive packaging should be avoided." It is "very useful" – not just with mineral water and beer. "You can also take the coffee with you in a glass that can be returned and if you take your food with you, you should do it in disposable containers," Krautberger said.

According to the Federal Environment Agency, nearly 70 percent of packaging waste in Germany is recycled, but the quota is largely dependent on the material. It is very high, for example, with steel at 92.2 percent, paper and cardboard at 87.6 percent and glass at 84.4 percent. Waste from plastic packaging is recycled to 49.7 percent, from wood to 25.8 percent. More than one million tonnes of plastic waste is exported abroad each year.

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