Complete utilisation of plastics: A study looks at the consumption and utilisation of plastics in Germany

Consumption of plastic in Germany continues to increase. The issue of waste utilisation in Germany has been clarified: more than 96 per cent of plastic waste is now utilised. Consequently, plastics are an important resource even after their first usage phase.

by Martin Boeckh

Foto: M. Boeckh(01.06.2010) These are the most significant results of the new study entitled Produktion, Verarbeitung und Verwertung von Kunststoffen in Deutschland 2007 (Production, processing and utilisation of plastics in Germany 2007). The recently published study was commissioned by Beteiligungs- und Kunststoffverwertungsgesellschaft mbH (BKV) and PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. with the collaboration of important plastics-relevant associations in Germany and was conducted by Consultic Marketing und Industrieberatung for the sixth time.
To summarise, we get the following picture for 2007: based on the fact that 20.5 million tons of plastics were produced in Germany, 12.5 million tons were used to manufacture plastic products – 1.3 million tons more than in 2005. The use of plastics not only grew proportionally, additional market shares were also gained. The amount of plastic waste was 4.86 million tons (an increase of 0.46 million tons), more than 96 per cent of which was recycled; disposal now plays only a very small role. About 43 per cent of this was mechanically recycled – an increase of roughly 30 per cent between 2005 and 2007, while about 52 per cent was used to generate energy. According to BKV, for the strategic design and, especially, for the environmental and sustainability discussion it is important to have reliable structural data about the production and consumption of plastics and treatment of the resulting waste.

Author: Martin Boeckh,
Foto: M. Boeckh

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published: Deutscher Fachverlag (DFV), Entsorga China 01_2010 (June 2010), 6|2010
Keywords: Collection, Energy Recovery, Material Recovery, Policy Tax Instruments, Plastics, Germany