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Federal Environmental Agency: More packaging waste than ever before

Coffee in paper cups on the way to work, lunches are packed in plastic – maybe even online orders: In Germany, more and more packaging trash piles up. In 2017, that was almost 230 kilos per person.

The amount of packaging waste continues to increase in Germany. In 2017, 18.7 million tons were produced, as the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) announced – more than before. That's 226.5 kilograms per person and three percent more than the previous year. Private consumers have a share of 47 percent or 107 kilograms per capita.

The reason is food and drinks to take and smaller, wrapped in plastic. In addition, more items will be purchased online and then shipped with packages. "We use too much packaging," said UBA President Maria Krautzberger. "It's bad for the environment and for consumption of raw materials."

Request for more can be reused

Waste must be avoided as early as possible in the production phase. "Therefore, unnecessary and unnecessary intensive packaging must be avoided." It takes "much more reusable" – not only with mineral water and beer. "You can also bring your coffee in a cup that can be returned and if you bring food, you should be able to do it in a reusable container," Krautzberger said.

According to the Federal Environment Agency, nearly 70 percent of packaging waste in Germany is recycled, but the quota is highly dependent on the material. Very high, for example, with 92.2 percent steel, 87.6 percent paper and cardboard, and 84.4 percent glass. Plastic packaging waste is recycled to 49.7 percent, from wood to 25.8 percent. More than one million tons of plastic waste are exported abroad every year.

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