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Fallacies in waste separation

In a campaign, the dual systems want to educate the population about four major prejudices and fallacies.

With their campaign "Waste separation does work", the system operators want to clear up the most important misconceptions and thus motivate consumers to take more care when separating waste. Up to now, important raw materials would have been lost to the recyclable material cycles due to incorrectly disposed waste and, contrary to many prejudices, correct waste separation would have a positive effect on the environment. According to information from the dual systems, of the 2.6 million tonnes of material collected annually in Germany via the yellow sacks and bins, around 70 percent is packaging and an average of 30 percent is incorrectly disposed of residual waste. In some areas, the rate of "misses" is said to be as high as 60 percent. According to the system operators opinion, this is due to four major mistakes about waste separation in Germany. The first would be that waste separation has no positive effect on the environment. Private households could actually, as the Green Dot let calculate by the Freiburg Öko-Institut, save around 3.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year throughout Germany by correctly disposing of packaging waste. The second mistake would be that collected packaging waste is incinerated together with residual waste. However, the packaging waste collected separately from the residual waste would for the most part be reused for the manufacture of new products. And the fourth major error concerns the materials that belong in the yellow bag or the yellow bin. In addition to plastic packaging, this includes all packaging made of tinplate, aluminium and composite materials such as beverage cartons. Objects made of plastic or metal that are not packaging, such as children's toys or toothbrushes, belong in the residual waste bin.

Sources:

  • recyclingmagazin.de (29.7.2020)
  • Picture: www.muelltrennung-wirkt.de