On average, each German citizen produces about 38 kilograms of
plastic waste per year - making Germans among the largest generators of plastic waste in all of Europe (Henrich-Böll-Stiftung; BUND, 2019).
Around 320,000 disposable cups alone are consumed every hour in Germany.
Every year, several million tons of plastic waste enter the oceans worldwide, so that 85% of the waste in the seas consists of plastics, which in turn leads to the agonizing death of marine life (Bundesregierung, 2021). Plastic waste breaks down into tiny particles in the water over time. It thus remains in our environment indefinitely. However, this flood of waste not only endangers fish, marine mammals or corals, but also impairs nature's recovery and human health.
A ban on single-use plastic thus seems long overdue, as there are already great alternatives that are both functional & ecologically sustainable.
Since July 3, 2021, products made from single-use plastic have been banned throughout the EU. This includes single-use plastic tableware as well as "bioplastics," drinking straws, cotton swabs, balloon sticks, and stir sticks made of plastic. To-go cups and disposable containers made of polystyrene (e.g. fast food packaging) are also no longer produced throughout the EU.
We think this is a right sign and let's hope that more regulations and laws will follow to further reduce plastic consumption!
Future steps (Bundesregierung, 2021):
As of 2022:
As of 2023:
As of 2024:
As of 2025:
The ban on single-use plastic was passed a year ago. But has it made any difference?
The answer: little, but there is still something positive. True, the amount of plastic waste entering the environment has only been reduced by less than 0.1%. But:
In addition to the ban on single-use plastic, the new Packaging Act (VerpackG) has also been in force since the beginning of 2022. The aim of the law is to increase recycling rates. "Distributors" of packaging will be required to classify it according to the Dual System. Failure to comply will result in severe fines. You can find out more about this on our information page on the Packaging Act.
For further information (click on the title):
Bundesregierung (2021): Einweg-Plastik wird verboten,
Deter, A. (2017): Regionales liegt im Trend
Henrich-Böll-Stiftung, Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (BUND) (2019):Plastikatlas – Daten und Fakten über eine Welt voller Kunststoff
Stiftung Warentest (2011): Die Vorteile: Regionales punktet
kompackt61 is a manufacturer of high quality and high performance sustainable insulating jute packaging as an environmentally friendly alternative to polystyrene.