Waste as a Resource: Good practices

Submitted by UCB (Cluster of Environmental Technologies Bavaria)

» Your trash is my treasure « - a catchy slogan - in real life difficult to implement!

One main challenge for a workable circular economy is the recognition of waste as a resource. And of course, not only the recognition but also the usage of waste as input for the creation of new products.

Within the MOVECO project, a brochure with the title » Your trash is my treasure « was developed showing good practices from nine different countries. The brochure is available in nine different languages here on this platform.

Within the scope of this EU Interreg DTP project, further good practice examples for the implementation of a circular economy were collected and can be found here.

Plastic waste is one of the main crucial waste streams we need to do something about it!

Currently, only a small fraction is recycled and finds it place in quality products. Especially plastic packaging waste which is collected on household level, is often difficult to recycle and to use in new products. In Germany, a debate is on-going on how to increase the recycled content in products. As the quality of recycled plastic granulates generated from household packaging waste is usually of lower quality and of higher price than virgin material (especially during the covid-19 pandemic, when the oil price is/ was extremely low), companies have some reservations to process it.

Companies who use post-consumer recyclate (with a certain percentage) in products can certify these products in Germany with the environmental label “Blauer Engel”. Companies are listed here with certified products and the criteria for certification can be found here in English.

One good practice example in the field of packaging from post-consumer recyclate is the bottle for cleaning products of the brand FROSCH. The company Werner & Mertz GmbH developed a procedure to produce bottles from 100% plastic waste collected in the yellow bag/ bin where the packaging waste is collected on household level in Germany. More information on this initiative can be found here.

It can be stated that many innovative companies are already implementing the concept of a closed loop and fill the slogan » Your trash is my treasure « with life. So, let’s get inspired by these companies!

Photo by UCB