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BVSE call for plastic waste rethink

January 11, 2018

The German organisation has offered a series of suggestions in response to the China ban.

The German organisation BVSE – the Federal Association for Secondary Raw Material and Waste Disposal – has warned of the potential effects of the widely-publicised Chinese ban on the import of plastic waste, reports K-Zeitung.

The ban “will have far-reaching consequences,” said BVSE’s Vice-President, Herbert Snell, “and there is currently no sound alternative to redirecting the materials that have been exported to China.” The association is therefore calling for a profound rethink, and offers up some solutions.

The export ban, according to BVSE, means that a “design for recycling” from product manufacturers takes on even greater importance – developing resource-efficient products, which will help companies cut costs and protect the environment, simultaneously. The association states that designers for manufacturers must balance packaging between the needs of the product, but also between its recyclability, suggesting a traffic light system on packaging explaining how easily it can be recycled.

BVSE also calls for improvement in the household-related collection of recyclable waste, communication of which, according to Snell, “has been neglected for years.” Alongside this, the group suggests higher sorting capacities at sorting plants, which they argue would create scope for improving the quality of the sorting, although this would require bilateral agreements between sorters and plastic recyclers.

Finally, it asks that organisations and companies take further their federal obligation to extend public procurement to plastics recycling. Ultimately, the solution, BVSE believe, is greater use of recyclable plastic and subsequently recycled plastic, but it argues this will require a corporate shift towards these ideas as well as a social one.


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