POLYPROBLEM-Report The Circularity Code

New POLYPROBLEM report by the Röchling Foundation and Wider Sense The Circularity Code How digitalization helps with the plastic transition… and how it does not The technology is available. However, there is still work to be done on the required willingness to cooperate in order to use it systematically to conserve resources when dealing with plastics. This is the key finding of the new POLYPROBLEM report by the non-profit Röchling Foundation and the consultancy WIDER SENSE. Featuring numerous interviews with experts, the study entitled "The Circularity Code" gets to the heart of the question of how much digital innovations contribute to the fight against plastic waste. It was important to the authors to shed light on all relevant sectors and all parts of the value chain: from digital support in design, the overall ecological assessment of packaging and the digital product passport to new, digital possibilities in waste management and recycling. "The complexity of plastic products means that they go through many stages from production to use and finally to recycling. Each production step generates data that is important for sustainable optimization. If there is no willingness to share this data across the entire value chain, even the best digital [...]


POLYPROBLEM  Report of the Röchling Foundation and Wider Sense Straws on Trial Bans on single-use plastic items such as plastic bags and straws lead both to a noticeable reduction in littering of streets and beaches and to more intensive public discussion about sustainable consumption. The total amount of plastic waste, on the other hand, cannot be significantly reduced with so-called "plastic bans." This is the conclusion reached by the POLYPROBLEM report published by the non-profit Röchling Foundation and the consultancy Wider Sense in cooperation with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy, Environment. Titled "Straws on Trial," the team of authors took a close look at the effect of government bans on single-use plastic products. "Whether bans on certain products and their use are appropriate for addressing global ecological crises is a controversial question of principle. We wanted to know whether the effects go beyond a symbolic impact," says Uwe Amrhein, foundation manager at the Röchling Foundation, outlining the objective. To this end, the team of authors conducted research on three continents - in Kenya, California, and Germany - and developed case studies from discussions with experts. Bans on certain single-use plastic articles have been in place for many years in most [...]

Circular Futures: The Real Lab for Joint Action

Circular FuturesThe Real Lab for Joint Action We all have to contribute to the development of a functioning Circular Economy: companies, start-ups, science, politics and civil society initiatives that are committed to the careful use of resources with a wide range of projects.Connecting these different groups of actors to develop collaborative solutions is the goal of the Circular Futures program of the Berlin-based social enterprise ProjectTogether.The Röchling Foundation functions as the initial sponsor of the innovation program, which is now also supported by other well-known foundations and companies. "We are certain that the transformation from linear to circular thinking and living will only succeed if innovations from the midths of society come together with business and politics. That is why we are happy to support Circular Futures as a founding partner," says Board of Trustees member Amélie Hauch. Graphic Recording Sommerfest 2022 Circular Futures Circular Futures supports mora than 100 initiatives and startups. Ten of these organizations were able to use grants to further develop and test their most promising solutions for promoting the Circular Economy in a focused way. By means of digital as well as real hands-on events such as the Circular Futures [...]

POLYPROBLEM-REPORT – Buy your way out

New POLYPROBLEM Report from the Röchling Foundation and Wider Sense "We need to detach ourselves from the current offset logic and overcome our propensity to find quick and simple solutions to complex global problems. The principle of “one ton in – one ton out” does not work because the plastics problem is not just an ecological and economic issue, but also a social one.” These are the words of Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof. Muhammad Yunus in his opening essay of the new POLYPROBLEM report titled "Buy Yourself Out - The Rocky Road to Plastic Neutrality." Offsetting measures still play a minor role in combating the global plastic waste crisis. This is mainly due to a non-transparent market and insufficient standardization. This is the conclusion of the latest study of the non-profit Röchling Foundation and the consultancy Wider Sense. The current report analyzes the opportunities and limitations of so-called Plastic Credits. More and more initiatives and organizations are offering such certificates for sale in order to use the proceeds to finance their activities for the collection and recycling of plastic waste - especially in developing countries. After intensive research in close cooperation with Yunus Environment Hub, the authors of the POLYPROBLEM [...]

POLYPROBLEM-Report – Treasure Hunt

The new POLYPROBLEM Report of the Röchling Foundation and Wider Sense TREASURE HUNT Faults and Flaws of the Recycling Market … AND A GLIMPSE INTO A POSSIBLE FUTURE The market for recycled plastics is broken - this is the central finding of the latest POLYPROBLEM topic report. “Treasure Hunt” is the second POLYRPOBLEM topic report of this year. This time, the report was conducted in cooperation with cirplus. Its goal is to not only summarize the situation regarding the recycling of plastics, but also to analyze the reasons that currently cause the plastics cycle to fail and to provide possible solutions for politics and industry. Annually, nearly 400 million tons of plastic are currently produced worldwide. However, less than ten percent consist of recycled material. Hence, it is still a long way to a properly functioning recycling industry. At first glance, the situation appears paradox: recycling companies complain about a lack of sales opportunities. At the same time, product manufacturers and plastics processors complain about a shortage of recyclates sufficient in quantity and quality. Supply and demand do not meet. In discussion with leading experts from business and science, this POLYPROBLEM topic report gets to the bottom of the [...]

POLYPROBLEM-Report – The Waste of Others

The POLYPROBLEM Report of the Röchling Foundation and Wider Sense The Waste of Others About the responsibility for the flood of plastic in Asia   More than half of the plastic waste in the oceans is released into the environment from five Asian countries. And this despite the fact that the emerging and developing countries use much less plastic per capita of their population than the industrialized nations. The reason for the massive emissions is the predominantly inadequate waste management systems in the Global South. The new POLYPROBLEM Report by the Röchling Foundation and Wider Sense takes a close look at the omissions and opportunities. International comparative figures show it clearly: With increasing prosperity, the consumption of plastics is rising. However, waste management in developing regions is not growing at the same pace. If this development continues and the gap widens, the world will only be at the beginning of the plastic problem – regardless of the enormous public attention to the subject. In their new POLYPROBLEM Report “THE WASTE OF OTHERS”, the non-profit Röchling Foundation and the consulting firm Wider Sense have comprehensively examined why it has not yet been possible to establish a nationwide waste management system [...]

Act on Plastic: It’s on!

Act on Plastic: It’s on! In a joint initiative, Soulbottles, Project Together and the Röchling Foundation are looking nationwide for startups and young initiatives with promising ideas and solutions for less plastic waste in nature. The aim is to sustainably strengthen the participating initiatives in a multi-stage support program. In the first, six-month phase, experienced coaches will help to further develop the solutions presented. Participants will have access to the initiators' expert network, workshops and webinars. During the second phase the best ones receive scholarships in order to bring their solutions to the market. Up until September 30th, initiatives and start-ups with promising solutions were able to apply for the nationwide challenge "Act on Plastic". 180 interesting applications were turned in upon deadline. The partners are very pleased with the high turnback and are looking forward to the the upcoming Phase I. For further information please visit: www.actonplastic.de

Interview with Helmut Schmitz, Head of Communications at Green Dot

Es gab mal eine Zeit, da hatte jeder Haushalt in Deutschland mit dem Grünen Punkt zu tun. 1990 baute das Unternehmen als Monopolist die weltweit erste flächendeckende Sammlung von Verpackungsabfall auf. Das so genannte Duale System sollte nach der Einführung der Verpackungsverordnung den Handel und die Industrie von der Rücknahme und Entsorgung aller Verkaufsverpackungen entlasten. Der Plan ging auf. Heute gibt es das Monopol nicht mehr, aber der Grüne Punkt steht noch immer symbolisch für eine systematische Erfassung und Verwertung von Verbrauchsverpackungen. Gerade das Fehlen vergleichbarer Systeme in den Schwellenländern Südostasiens gilt als eine der wesentlichen Ursachen für Plastik in der Umwelt. Eine Delegation der Röchling Stiftung stattete dem noch immer sehr erfolgreichen Recyclingunternehmen einen Besuch ab und sprach mit Kommunikationschef Helmut Schmitz über lokale und globale Aufgaben.

Setting Sail on Research – Investigating Microplastic in the Ocean

Zum zweiten Mal ist Mikrobiologe Dr. Rüdiger Stöhr von dem durch die Röchling Stiftung unterstützten Verein One Earth – One Ocean e.V. (OEOO), der sich um die Beseitigung von Plastikmüll aus den Meeren bemüht, mit der Organisation Ocean College auf großem Segeltörn. Der Weg führt ihn diesmal von den Kapverden bis in die Karibik. Was sich nach entspanntem Segelurlaub anhört, ist harte Arbeit.

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