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From a resource-intensive, linear economy to a comprehensive closed-loop economy: reusing and recycling raw materials plays a key role in fighting climate change. This is a point made also by Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier at the General Assembly of the Federation of the German Waste, Water and Raw Materials Management Industry (BDE) in early June 2019. He is committed to bringing together lawmakers and industry to leverage the circular economy’s potential in protecting the climate even more efficiently and comprehensively.

 

We welcome this revitalisation of the climate protection debate, and the greater awareness of the topics of sustainability and recycling in the general population. This underlines the importance of our work and motivates us to redouble our efforts to achieving a sustainable turnaround in the use of resources. With next-generation sorting and reprocessing technologies, for example, it is becoming easier to commercialise the production of high-quality, customer-specific recycled raw materials. The fewer natural resources we extract from our planet and the more widespread material recycling becomes, the greater the reductions we can make in climate-polluting greenhouse gases.

 

Together with the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT, we are assessing in the current study ‘resources SAVED by recycling’ the conservation of resources and greenhouse gas reduction through our recycling activities in comparison to primary production. Through the recirculation of around 5.6 million tonnes of recyclable materials, we achieved a total saving of approximately 31.9 million tonnes of primary resources in 2018 as well as almost 4.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.

 

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