Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the issue of plastic waste was a hot topic and public pressure on policy makers to reduce levels of plastic in the environment was high. But now, sales of disposable products such as plastic gloves and masks are on the up. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the benefits of (disposable) plastics in the healthcare industry are obvious. However, it's crucial that these products are disposed of correctly and do not end up on sidewalks and doorways, as can now often be observed.
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Since December 2019, Ecologic Institute is a member of the PREVENT Waste Alliance. The alliance is a multi-stakeholder exchange and cooperation platform with more than 30 participant organisations from the private sector, academia and civil society, as well as government institutions. All participant organisations are involved in different aspects of waste management and circular economy across entire value chains, with particular focus on plastics and electronic waste.
From 10 to 14 February 2020, the five-day PhD-WinterSchool "Plastics in the Environment" of the BMBF research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources ● Sinks ● Solutions" took place in Döllnsee, Brandenburg.Read more
January 2020 to December 2020
The European Union is strongly committed to shifting to a competitive, low-carbon circular economy. The first European Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) from December 2015 set a framework for stimulating the transition towards a circular economy. It is foreseen to revise the CEAP in 2020 to further strengthen the momentum and enable businesses, industry and society to transition to a circular economy.Read more
The main objective of the platform is to provide organisational support for the German Roundtable on Marine Litter and its working groups. In addition, the public part of the platform serves public relations work and the bundling of information on marine litter. The Ecologic Institute developed this central German portal on marine litter technically, structurally and graphically to support the fulfilment of the tasks of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive with regard to marine litter and other international obligations (e.g. Action Plan on Marine Litter, OSPAR, HELCOM).Read more
On 2 December 2019, Doris Knoblauch and Dr. Stephan Sina, Senior Fellows at Ecologic Institute, held a presentation on "Tackling Plastic Pollution – Introduction to Global Plastic Pollution and the Discussions at the International Level" for 21 experts from ministries, authorities, local government, and non-governmental institutions of low-income countries, including newly industrialized economies.Read more
Plastic Atlas 2019: Facts and figures about the world of synthetic polymers
There are numerous regulatory approaches at the international, regional and national level regarding the handling of plastic products and plastic waste. What they all have in common is their limited effectiveness. Linda Mederake, Stephan Gürtler and Doris Knoblauch argue that this is partly due to the fact that at the international level a large number of binding agreements and voluntary initiatives have developed independently of one another and are therefore not coordinated in terms of content. The Plastics Atlas 2019 is available online.Read more
The Role of Public Health vs. Environmental Arguments
This article by Ecologic Institute's Linda Mederake and Doris Knoblauch uses a structuring qualitative content analysis to investigate the parliamentary debates of two recently adopted plastic policies in the EU – namely the EU Plastics Strategy and the Single-Use Plastics Directive – and assess the relevance of public health and environmental arguments for the EU debate.Read more
On 10 and 11 October 2019, experts from the Korean Environmental Ministry, Korean Environmental Industry & Technology Institute, Korean Institute of Analytical Science and Technology and the University of Seoul visited the Umweltbundesamt (UBA) and the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung (BAM) in Berlin. Together with colleagues from BAM, UBA and Ecologic Institute they presented and discussed current developments in research in Germany and Korea on micropollutants and plastic in the environment, especially in water and food. Ulf Stein from Ecologic Institute and deputy coordinator of the four-year project PlastikNet, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) presented on research activities of the research focus 'Plastics in the environment' in Germany.Read more