Enviroment Agreements with retailers and manufacturers
For the next meeting in autumn, Environment Minister Schulze expects a series of concrete agreements: on dispensing with disposable packaging and products, on more reusable and less disposable packaging, on environmentally friendly packaging.
At the first meeting of the dialogue, retailers and manufacturers have already promised initial measures, for example to reduce plastic in the fruit and vegetable sector, by expanding the range of unpackaged goods or by using reusable bags and nets. Federal Environment Minister Schulze welcomed these approaches to doing without plastic packaging, but also made it clear that the existing commitments were not yet sufficient.
Even though much has already been achieved in Germany in recycling, in separate collection and in avoiding the discharge of plastic waste into the environment, the volume of packaging is increasing from year to year. In November 2018, Federal Environment Minister Schulze therefore presented a 5-point plan for less plastic and more recycling. The focus is on the avoidance and recycling of plastic packaging. One cornerstone is the new Packaging Act, which came into force on 1 January 2019 and which, among other things, provides for significantly increased recycling quotas. The dialogue with trade and industry launched today is a further element of this plan.