Recycling body attacks lack of government help in stimulus package
The head of Germany’s waste management association BDE has criticised the German government for ignoring recycling in its massive post-coronavirus stimulus package. In an interview with Die Welt, Peter Kurth, head of the federation, said ministers had missed a great opportunity to reduce emissions, meet climate targets and cut waste. "They are spending 130 billion euros and are not even considering the potential of the recycling industry at all. This is more than disappointing,” he said. Kurth said the stimulus package was a prime moment to introduce incentives such as a recycling quota, or invest in recycling technologies. For example, if the current rate of plastics reuse could be doubled to 30 percent, he calculates that 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide can be saved. "If Germany is serious about the [EU] Green Deal, recycling management must become the supporting pillar of the economic system. Otherwise the climate targets cannot be achieved,” he added.
Germany was hailed as a world leader in recycling in the 1990s but its crown has slipped somewhat since then. While EU figures show it recycled more than 60 percent of plastic packaging in 1995, this fell to less than 49 percent in 2018. Plastics production and incineration is predicted to consume 10-13 percent of the global carbon budget by 2050.