Hintergrundpapier: Plastikpolitik in Deutschland und der EU
Plastic pollution – especially the dramatic littering of the oceans – and the public concerns about it have powerfully brought the issue on the European and German political agenda. Since then, there have been a whole series of new initiatives to regulate plastics - especially at EU level.
This background paper provides an overview of existing and new laws and initiatives regarding plastics in Germany and the EU. Despite the multitude of approaches, guidelines and laws, regulatory gaps remain. The greatest need for action exists in the areas of strengthening recycling and use of recycled plastics as well as waste prevention. Waste prevention remains the unwanted child in the resource discourse, although it almost always represents the best option in terms of environmental policy.
The authors Linda Mederake, Mandy Hinzmann and Susanne Langsdorf accordingly urge for a stronger systems thinking. An interdepartmental, coordinated plastics strategy in Germany could combine the relevant activities of the plastics policy, work out an overarching plan taking into account the waste hierarchy and contribute to its implementation. In addition, clearly formulated and measurable goals should be defined and a process-accompanying success control should be established.