A roundabout, not a one-way street Download as PDF
Issue March 2016

A roundabout, not a one-way street

Making sustainable waste management work

Editorial


A better world tomorrow?

Editorial by Michael Sailer, CEO, Oeko-Institut

617 kilos: that’s the average amount of waste generated by every German every year. That means that at my age, I have produced more than 38 tonnes of waste in my lifetime – perhaps slightly less, assuming that we lived in a less wasteful society in the past. As children, we learned what could be thrown away and what was to be used for a long time. Not that I am harking back to the “good old days”: on the contrary, we can all remember the problems that affected waste disposal well into the 1980s. In those days, landfill was the default option for the disposal of all types of waste, with no thought given to recycling or reducing the volume of waste. And as mountains of hazardous waste built up at poorly secured landfill sites, toxins leached into groundwater and methane from landfill gas escaped into the atmosphere.

So what do we need from a sustainable circular economy today?...

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A better world tomorrow?

In Focus


Waste: a precious resource

Towards a circular economy

Recycling and reuse have a long history in Germany. A nationwide system of bottle banks for waste glass collection has existed since 1974. The Green Dot scheme and Dual System Germany (DSD) marked their 25th anniversary in 2015. Paper recycling rates doubled from 40.2 per cent in 1990 to 81.6 per cent in 2014. Progress, certainly – but it’s still not enough. When it comes to waste management, there are still plenty of challenges to solve, as the Oeko-Institut researchers know only... more

Waste: a precious resource

Waste policy x 28

The circular economy in the EU

Waste policy is in good shape in Germany. It earns frequent and lavish praise from all sides: for its state-of-the-art waste separation, its nationwide bottle deposit scheme and its high recycling rates in many sectors. Compared to the rest of the EU, some might say that Germany has every right to sit back and let the others get on with it. But resting on one’s laurels is the way to fall behind – by failing to implement new technologies and missing out on long-term trends. For... more

Waste policy x 28

“The zero waste society starts with production”

Interview with Stéphane Arditi, European Environmental Bureau (EEB)

Politische Zusammenarbeit, aufgeklärte Verbraucher, Herstellerverantwortung – auf dem Weg zu einer europäischen Kreislaufwirtschaft nimmt Stéphane Arditi alle in die Pflicht. Arditi ist beim European Environmental Bureau (EEB), einem Verband europäischer Umweltorganisationen, für den Themenbereich Produkt- und Abfallpolitik zuständig. Er befasst sich mit den Potenzialen der Gesetzgebung ebenso wie mit den Möglichkeiten von Wirtschaftsinstrumenten auf dem Weg zur Zero Waste... more

“The zero waste society starts with production”

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