What is resource-efficient and sustainable packaging? In order to discuss this topic, the IHK brought together representatives from a wide range of industries. In addition to Landpack, these included representatives from technology groups, food companies, waste management, product designers for sustainable packaging as well as researchers and consultants in the field of bioplastics. The workshop is based above all on the new, ambitious legislative proposals at federal and EU level, which present manufacturers, retailers and consumers with new challenges.
There was a lively exchange between the participants — different perspectives met. The question was particularly interesting: What is a truly sustainable packaging solution if the product cycle of raw materials, primary energy requirements of production and disposal are actually considered?
In the end, all participants agreed: more transparency, discussion and education in the various areas is necessary to enable retailers and manufacturers to make the right decisions for sustainable packaging.
Legislative plans short & sweet:
EU Circular Economy Package: Reduction of waste to the landfill (max. 5% municipal waste by 2030), reduction of food waste, higher recycling rates for municipal waste, new calculations for recycling rates.
European strategy for plastics: All plastic packaging placed on the EU market must be reusable or cost-effectively recycled, half of the plastic waste generated in Europe will be recycled, separation and recycling capacity will be quadrupled compared to 2015, export of poorly sorted plastic waste will be phased out.
Requirements include: Product design, use of microplastics, restrictions on disposable plastics, expansion of take-back and deposit systems, quality standards for separated/recycled plastic waste (with industry), etc.
EU Proposal Directive: Single Use Plastic (May 2019): Member States prohibit the sale of cotton swabs, drinking straws, cutlery, plates, stirrers, chopsticks, balloon rods. Further product requirements, labelling requirements, target values etc. for take-away, bags, foils etc. are also included.
German Packaging Act — from 01.01.2019: Registration of all companies bringing packaging onto the market at the Central Office for Packaging, with a goal of higher recycling rates. Dual systems must create incentives to promote material combinations that can be recycled at a high percentage.