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Waste | Resources

Modern life would be pretty much unthinkable without natural resources. Worldwide population and economic growth are putting increasing pressure on resources such as raw materials, land, and biodiversity. Hence using these resources more wisely and efficiently is sure to be a key skill set for future oriented societies.

One of the UBA’s main goals is to reduce resource use along with the environmental impact of such use as a whole and across the entire value chain. Against this backdrop, cutting back on waste and using it as a source of secondary raw materials and energy can make a significant contribution to resource conservation in the guise of resource friendly manufacturing processes, products and usage modalities.

Sparing and efficient use of natural resources is crucial not only from an ecological standpoint, but is also a major economic and social challenge. Hence resource conservation and resource policy constitute an inter-disciplinary field encompassing myriad strategies and stakeholders. This in turn means that we need to define a carefully constructed policy mix with just the right instruments for the tasks at hand. And this is where the UBA comes in. We devise concepts aimed at enshrining resource conservation in environmental policy along the entire value chain, beginning with raw material extraction, product design, the commercial and usage phases, and finally recycling and disposal. We also place great emphasis on informing and networking with the general public, business leaders and policymakers, and on the elaboration of ambitious objectives and the instruments needed to achieve them. Developing waste management, which is now primarily a disposal oriented activity, into a raw materials oriented recycling system is also taking on ever growing importance for us.

Waste prevention

A waste container being emptied

The Waste Policy aims to to protect the environment and human health by preventing and reducing the adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste. The Waste Management Act (KrWG) requires to set up a German waste prevention program , with the goal of implementing the relevant EU requirement. The German Government's Waste Prevention Programme was adopted by the Cabinet on 31 July 2013. read more

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UBA organised resources conferences

A cut down tree

After the success in 2012, the Federal Environment Agency hosted the European Resources Forum (ERF) and the National Resources Forum (NRF) for the second time. The conferences took place from 10 to 12 November 2014 in Berlin. read more

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Rebound effects

Efficiency increase oftentimes reduces product or service costs, which can in turn ramp up consumption (due to reduced prices), thus partly canceling out the original savings. This is known as the rebound effect. read more

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Waste disposal

A backhoe pushes together the waste of the waste landfill

Pursuant to Germany’s Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz law, waste is to be disposed of in a safe and environmentally compatible manner, whereby the top priority in this regard is protecting human health and the environment. Various waste treatment, recycling and disposal techniques are used, depending on the nature of the waste in question and the waste management objective. read more

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The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment