dvi: Recycling Packaging Is Successful
The German Packaging Institute (Deutsches Verpackungsinstitut; dvi) believes packaging recycling is headed in the right direction. Expanding the use of recycled materials and conducting life cycle assessments are now the key drivers for further development.
The institute makes reference to the German Environment Agency's annual report and the Central Agency Packaging Register. Since the Packaging Act came into effect, material recycling rates have increased significantly and have exceeded the previous forecasts.
Greater Political Support Needed
"Today, between 80 and 90 per cent of packaging collected through the dual system is recycled" says Kim Cheng, Managing Director of the dvi. Recycling of plastics was increased by a solid 50 per cent. In the future, it is essential to expand the range of applications for recycled materials. Therefore the Managing Director of dvi calls for more support from politicians and regulators. In the case of food packaging in particular, "we can really make a big difference in terms of recycling if the necessary certifications and approvals are obtained," says Cheng. According to the dvi, to increase the amount of rPET for food contact material, it makes sense "to ensure that material from disposable PET bottles does not end up in textiles." Furthermore, it is worth considering an extension of the mandatory deposit system to include PET containers for eggs, fruit, vegetables and baked goods.
No Hesitation in Using Fact-Based Life Cycle Assessments
Moreover, the dvi calls for clear, neutral life cycle assessments of packaging volumes in online retailing, as well as a balance between reusable and disposable packaging. "Reusable packaging also has to be collected, cleaned and transported," says Cheng. "To determine whether disposable or reusable packaging is more sustainable, fact-based life cycle assessments are needed. If we want sustainable progress, we must not shy away from neutral analysis and fact-based results."
Source: dvi, photo: Adobe Stock / kyrychukvitaliy