Exit Plastik Event: Plastic in the German Circular Economy Strategy

Exit Plastik Event: Plastic in the German Circular Economy Strategy


Exit Plastik, the German NGO coalition working on plastic, including HEJSupport, conducted a meeting with parliamentarians and ministerial representatives, focussing on plastic in the national circular economy strategy.

In view of the current crises, saving resources and energy seems more urgent than ever. The production of plastics, especially short-lived packaging, provides a considerable potential for savings.

In its coalition agreement, the German government has set the goal of “reducing primary raw material consumption and closed material cycles”. Now it is a matter of setting the right course in several current processes: The Federal Environment Ministry works on cornerstones for a national circular economy strategy. In parallel, the Packaging Act is being revised at the national and European levels. The EXIT PLASTIK alliance calls for ambitious legislation at the national and EU levels, especially for the avoidance of plastic and the expansion of reusable systems.

With recycling and improper disposal, the debate on plastic in the circular economy still focuses too much on the end of the value chain and on how conventional plastic can be replaced in a business-as-usual scenario by supposedly more environmentally friendly alternatives such as “bio” plastic. However, to minimise raw material consumption and the massive contribution of plastic production to global warming and to protect people and the environment from plastic pollution, the focus needs to be on the beginning of the value chain. What kind of system do we need to protect resources sustainably? What does an excellent circular economy in the field of packaging look like? What goals need to be adopted now with regard to avoidance and reuse?

With input from EXIT PLASTIK and José Potting, Recycling Netwerk Benelux, first author of the recently published Dutch study “Towards Circular Targets”, these and other questions were discussed.

For information in German and the presentations please visit

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Written by Alexandra Caterbow