Packaging materials 2008: Recycling rates rose, consumption declined

UBA publishes study on packaging wastes in Germany

Consumption of packaging in 2008 declined by 0.4 percent over 2007. A total volume of 16.04 million (mn) tonnes of packaging was logged as a result of consumers‘ collecting waste separately and from other sources. “Separate collection and recycling of packaging wastes occur at high rates in Germany,“ explains UBA President Jochen Flasbarth. The recycling rates achieved for various packaging materials are significantly higher than those set by law and, in total, are higher than the previous year. These are the results of the study (in German) done on the occurrence and recycling of packaging wastes in Germany for 2008 (Aufkommen und Verwertung von Verpackungsabfällen in Deutschland; Berichtsjahr 2008) by the GVM Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung in Mainz on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).


A total of 13.1 mn tonnes of packaging wastes were either recycled or re-used to produce energy in 2008. Waste incineration plants with energy recovery processed a volume of 2.1 mn tonnes of packaging wastes. With a total recycling rate of 81.6 percent, materials recycling accounts for 70.5 percent. As in previous years, the 2008 materials recycling rates for various packaging materials were again higher than required by law.

The European Packaging Directive (94/62/EC) and the German Packaging Ordinance prescribe recycling rates for packaging wastes, which support the objective of re-using existing materials in the materials cycle and thereby saving resources and energy, and preventing CO2 emissions. UBA reviews whether Germany meets compliance with these statutory requirements. GVM records the necessary data on behalf of UBA. The review provides detailed information on the packaging materials glass, plastic, paper/cardboard/pasteboard, aluminium, tinplate, steel, and wood.

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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