The shortage of housing is a problem in many large cities and metropolitan areas. The building sector has for years failed to meet its environmental and climate targets. A position paper by the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the Commission for Sustainable Building (KNBau) at UBA investigates how affordable housing can be built without harm to the environment and human health. read more
Waste | Resources
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.
Hazard radar for iron, copper and bauxite supply chains
100 major copper, iron ore and bauxite (“aluminium ore”) mine sites worldwide have been assessed for their environmental hazard potentials. Results have been published in an interactive map with a number of filter functions. In particular, companies can use the map to analyse environmental risks along supply chains and to support their environmental due diligence. read more
Companies soon to assume costs for disposal of single-use plastic products
Whether coffee-to-go cups or cigarette butts, too much single-use plastic is landing on our streets and in parks. Cities and municipalities in particular incur costs of up to 434 million euros per year for collection and cleaning, says a study by the German Environment Agency (UBA). New EU regulation states that the manufacturers of single-use products will have to bear these costs. read more
Aktion Biotonne Deutschland (German organic waste campaign) launches a “28-day organic waste bin challenge” for citizens.
A coalition of policymakers, business and associations is running “Action weeks for organic waste bins in Germany” to advocate for improvements in the collection of organic waste. For four weeks from 7 November 2022, the spotlight will be on local authorities in Germany as they run campaigns on the ground to promote the separate collection of organic waste. read more
E-Waste Day: a plea for proper disposal of electrical and electronic equipment
Too much waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is still being disposed of improperly in Germany. A German Environment Agency (UBA) analysis found that some 86,000 tonnes per year land in the general waste bin instead of being recycled as prescribed. Germany’s recycling rate unfortunately still falls short of meeting the EU minimum recovery rate requirement of 65 percent. read more
Pandemic triggered slight decline in 2020 packaging consumption in Germany
The coronavirus pandemic led to a slight decrease in packaging consumption in Germany in 2020, marking the first decline since 2009. Total packaging waste in 2020 was 18.8 million tonnes, or 0.7 per cent less than in 2019. Per capita, this is 1.7 kg less than the average 225.8 kg. read more
Jury announces nominees for winner of German Ecodesign Award 2022
In its two-day session early this week, the jury reviewed and evaluated 137 submissions in the project rooms of feldfünf e.V. in Berlin. After deliberations, the environmental and design experts nominated 28 projects for the German Ecodesign Award 2022. The ultimate winners of the award will be announced by Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke at the award ceremony on 5 December. read more
Rotor blade recycling from A to Z
Wind turbine rotor blades are made of fibre composites and have been disposed of in very different ways up to now. The German Environment Agency (UBA) now presents a comprehensive overview of the sustainable use and waste processing of rotor blades. read more