German Plastic Packaging Association IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e. V. requires an unbiased discussion about plastics, which is based on facts.
According to German media reports, the Federal Ministry of the Environment plans to ban plastic bags, as well as a fine of up to 100,000 euros for violating it. IK Association General Director Jürgen Bruder commented on these reports: “Unfortunately, the controversy over plastic bags has been for many years superficial, with little focus on facts. Rather, plastic bags are seen as a clear symbol of a one-time consumer society, and political battles are fought around them. The plastic bag works very well in terms of environmental balance, especially in the version of recycled material. ”
Recycling in Germany is guaranteed thanks to the yellow plastic bags. In addition, plastic bags are often used as trash bags after repeated use. If the bags enter the environment in Germany, this means that consumers do not dispose of them properly. If for something and impose sanctions, then for the selfish and environmentally harmful treatment of waste. “Let’s take a fine of 1,000 euros for throwing away waste. We prohibit not cars, but red light traffic, ”said Jürgen Bruder.
A resource-saving solution may be to reduce the number of store packages, since they cannot be replaced with a few environmentally friendly materials. In addition, the replacement of disposable plastics with other disposable materials is impractical. Anyone who wants to do without disposable plastic bags for shopping today will find a sustainable and consumer-friendly alternative in the form of reusable plastic bags. In terms of eco-balance, a shopping bag made from recycled plastic is especially beneficial. Planned banning of plastic bags means unfair discrimination of material by competing materials. “According to the federal government, the consumption of other shopping bags is not even taken into account, life cycle assessment (environmental balance) is not used. Such decision-making can only be called symbolic politics, ”said Jürgen Bruder.
Gross bans on certain plastic products in Germany do not lead to an environmentally sustainable change in consciousness or a solution to the global problem of marine litter. Jürgen Bruder said: “The fact that such indiscriminate assessments discredits an entire industry whose innovations are crucial for protecting the climate in many areas of our lives does not seem to matter.”
Given the extremely successful self-regulation in trade, which already exceeds European targets, a legal ban is not required, it causes disappointment in connection with a breach of trust. Voluntary commitments are the combined actions of industry and business to achieve policy goals, and should be valued as such. Any measures, such as bans, should be considered if voluntary measures are not taken. It is important that industry and business can count on recognition of successful voluntary commitments.