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Packaging volume and regulatory framework Background paper

The background paper provides an overview of the materials that shape the volume of packaging and packaging waste in Germany, as well as the most important German and European legal regulations relating to packaging. The analysis of the packaging volume shows that not only plastic packaging, but also packaging made of paper, cardboard and paperboard (PPK) has shown a continuous increase in consumption over the last 15 years. The relevant legal guidelines on packaging differentiate between the following measures: Bans and quantity limits, recycling of used packaging, design of packaging for recycling, promotion of the recycled content and promotion of reusable packaging. In addition, sustainable consumption patterns and the development of innovative business models and products are to be promoted. From the analysis of the packaging volume and the legal framework, it is concluded that the current legal context leads less to environmental improvements and more to a shift of environmental burdens. It is recommended to take a holistic environmental optimization of the German packaging market into consideration and not to focus exclusively on technical properties and isolated packaging materials. A further core aspect of the paper is the elaboration of a glossary of essential terms. 

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