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Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) has announced the results of a study commissioned to B2B market research institute GVM on tableware and takeaway packaging waste in Germany.

The study looked at several categories of waste grouped by source (disposable tableware and packaging for immediate consumption versus household party supplies) and material (paper, plastic, aluminium and natural materials) and compared the amounts of waste generated in 2017 with those in 1994.

The findings were staggering. In 2017, Germans generated 346,831 tonnes of food and beverage packaging waste, or 44% more than in 1994. Accounting for 81% of the total amount or 281,186 tonnes, packaging waste and tableware for immediate consumption saw a 38% increase between 1994 and 2017. The majority (58%) of such waste was comprised of plates, bowls and food boxes, particularly the paper variety. Beverage cups (20%) and bags and wrapping (14%) were the runners-up.

Even more worrisome was the increase in disposable household party supplies, the amount of which climbed to 65,645 tonnes in 2017 —a 74% increase compared to 1994.

In terms of the materials that constituted the bulk of the disposable tableware and takeaway packaging waste, paper took the lead at 64%, followed by plastic (30%) and aluminium (4%).


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