Europe’s biggest economy and third largest population has just made a significant stride in reducing plastic waste by banning various single-use plastics and styrofoam.
The announcement made in late June by the German Environmental Minister Svenja Schulze is part of an effort to depart from the “throw-away culture” that affects much of the country. Germany has experienced a significant increase in the use of plastic packaging in recent years.
"Many single-use plastic products are superfluous and non-sustainable use of resources," Minister Schulze said in a statement.
It’s estimated that up to 20% or one-fifth of all garbage collected in parks and other public places consists of single-use plastics, including a large proportion of polystyrene containers. Last year it was widely reported that the nation generated a record 18.7 million tons of packaging waste in 2017.
The ban will cover the sale of a variety of single-use plastics including straws, cotton buds, cutlery, plates, stirring sticks and balloon holders, as well as polystyrene cups and food containers. The ban will come into effect from July 3, 2021 and will bring the nation’s policy in line with a European Union directive intended to reduce the amount of plastic garbage that pollutes the environment.
France was the first European country to introduce a ban on certain single-use plastic goods back in 2016, with the UK following suit earlier this year.
- What can you do to reduce your own plastic footprint? Check out our zero-waste kit for reusable alternatives to common waste products, visit RecyclingNearYou for information on recycling in your local area and look for the Australasian Recycling Label when recycling packaging.
- Find out about Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets, which aim to create a new path for how we manage packaging in Australia.
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.