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Things to know about recycling and waste disposal

Environmental protection, sustainability and waste disposal. Everyone talks about how important it is. Laws have been passed for years to regulate these issues. But what about progress? Or rather, how much recycling is possible at all. We have picked out a few figures that will shed some light on the subject. We take Germany as an example.

How much packaging waste is generated in Germany?

The Federal Environment Agency has plenty of figures on this. For example, how consumption has developed in recent years depending on the type of material:

Weight in ktons /year 2000 2005 2010 2015 2016
Metal 826 618 569 611 620
Plastics 1781 2368 2690 3052 3098
Glass 3758 2878 2712 2690 2808
Paper 5998 6658 6998 8157 7927

It is easy to see here that a lot of packaging waste is still produced in Germany. Paper is used more than ever before. Fortunately, this raw material is sustainable and grows again. It can be easily recovered and disposed of. 

The situation is less beautiful with plastic. Plastic has actually almost doubled from 2000 to 2016. Perhaps you know this. Today, every little thing, every product comes in plastic packaging. 


Unfortunately, the realisation is that we make more rubbish than in earlier times. Avoidance has not really worked out that well. So what about recycling? How much of the stuff is recycled?

What is the recycling rate of different materials?

The German government has now set new targets for this. You can see them here:


To this end, the government has issued new quotas for 2022. Most raw materials are to be recovered at 90%. Numerous companies are helping to make this possible, even with hard materials. These include Vecoplan and Eldan, for example. Their equipment cuts the metals into small pieces, which makes the new use much easier. Special blades are used for this, so that the Eldan spare parts have to be reordered again and again. 


The world has not really got much better in terms of waste and recycling. However, the state is trying to counteract this by setting ever higher quotas for recycling. Numerous companies are profiting from this. After all, they are the ones who will produce the machines for this purpose. 

All in all, this is an advantage for Germany. Every tonne recovered saves us importing from abroad.