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Consumer behaviorNew data on the generation of private packaging waste in Germany

Today, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) published new data on the volume of packaging waste in Germany. Preliminary results show that German consumers generated an average of 68 kilograms of packaging waste per capita in 2018. The volume of packaging waste collected in yellow bins, glass or paper containers or comparable systems remained almost unchanged from the previous year at 5.7 million tonnes.

These are further details:

  • Light packaging out of plastic, light metals and composite materials made up the largest share of private packaging waste – with 30 kilograms per capita and a total of 2.5 million tons.

  • This is followed by glass packaging with 22 kilograms per person (1.8 million tons) and packaging out of paper and cardboard with 16 kilograms per person (1.3 million tons).

  • After waste sorting, almost 95 percent of the collected packaging waste (5.4 million tons) was passed on to waste treatment plants or recycling companies. Another 75 percent (4.1 million tonnes) of this packaging was then recycled.

  • Among the recycling processes used, mechanical recycling predominated, in which the raw material of the waste is retained and its chemical structure remains unchanged.

  • 22 percent of packaging waste (1.2 million tons) was used for energy, for instance in combustion plants.

Source: Destatis

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