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Metal recyclers on the Environment Minister’s 5-point plan: plastics recycling is not enough on its own

Berlin, 26 November 2018 – Germany’s leading metal recycling businesses, Scholz and TSR, have welcomed the latest recycling initiative put forward by German Minister Svenja Schulze, who presented her 5-point plan for less plastic and more recycling in Berlin on Monday. Both companies, however, have warned against limiting the debate to just plastic. If the climate and environmental targets are to be met, then there needs to be a comprehensive switch to recycled raw materials which, in turn, needs effective recycling systems for all materials.

“Both the adaptation of the Ecodesign Directive and the recycled raw materials initiative are certainly both a step in the right direction. There is an urgent need for industry to use more recycled raw materials in their production processes. For this to happen, however, the debate must cover all material streams,” said Bernd Fleschenberg, managing director of TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG, commenting on the Environment Minister’s 5-point plan. The reason behind this is clear: the majority of the raw materials needed by German industry have to be imported; and they are totally dependent on imports when it comes to metals. “This alone is a good reason for ensuring that the raw materials that do come into our country stay here by making sure they are recovered, recycled and reused,” Bernd Fleschenberg continued.

Scholz and TSR also pointed out that recycling systems are not much more efficient than those used a few decades ago as discussions have always focused on individual problems or on individual groups of materials. “What we need is a political debate about creating a comprehensive approach to recycling that takes in all sectors and all materials. Which is why we called for a national recycling council at the beginning of November and for a think tank that can act as an advisory committee to really drive forward the switch to recycled raw materials,” stressed Dr Klaus Hauschulte, managing director of Scholz Recycling GmbH.

With packaging and raw materials being so closely linked by product chains, composites and areas of application, both companies highlighted the need to come up with a set of interconnected solutions rather than discussing each problem individually. To date, though, politicians have rarely looked at a holistic, cross-sector approach to the subject which means that the individual measures they have introduced have merely deferred the problems not solved them.

“We welcome every opportunity to hold discussions but the potential benefits that comprehensive recycling activities could have on cutting carbon emissions and consequently protecting the environment and curbing global warming are so much greater and more sustainable than can be achieved by reducing plastic packaging. There needs to be a nationwide switch to recycled raw materials – and this must be expedited by setting up a decision-making body, a national recycling council,” emphasised both Bernd Fleschenberg and Klaus Hauschulte.

At their recent conference in Bremen, the environment ministers of the different German states decided to push forward the EU plastics strategy. In their resolution, they highlighted the need to further develop the European market for recycled raw materials so that there was greater support for innovations, investments in technologies and the use of recycled raw materials in products.

Further information / contact person:

TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG
Jenny Sbosny
Press Officer TSR Recycling
Brunnenstraße 138
44536 Lünen 
Telefon: +49(0)2306/106-3878
Telefax: +49(0)2306/106-3993878
Internet: www.tsr.eu E-Mail: jenny.sbosny@tsr.eu


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