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What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

How does German policy combat plastic waste?

How are German politicians combating plastic waste - and our throwaway consumption in general? The Plastic waste problem and its harmful consequences for our environment have now basically reached all parties in Germany. The plastic free lifestyle is on everyone's lips. But when it comes to the political search for a solution, each party naturally sees things a little differently. And when I asked the parties, I was surprised with a wide variety of answers.

In this article, I would like to present how the major parties are campaigning against plastic waste and what politics in general is doing to combat our throwaway society.

  1. Alliance 90/The Greens
  3. Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
  4. Free Democratic Party (FDP)
  5. CDU/CSU parliamentary group
  6. Alternative for Germany (AfD)
  7. Party Plastic Free Germany (PFD)
  8. Party Man Environment Animal Protection (Animal Protection Party)
  9. 5-point plan of the federal government
  10. Closing words

Notice: NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) has published precise figures on the problem. It shows that more than 1,000,000 seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die every year as a result of our plastic consumption. These are important facts in order to better assess the extent of the plastic problem. More about this in the Plastic waste statistics.

German policy strategies and measures against plastic waste

This video should have clarified the environmental problem of plastic waste once again. I would now like to show you in more detail what the German parties are doing about our waste problem and especially the masses of Plastic company.

The Greens - active against plastic waste

What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

Jamila Schäfer, deputy federal chairwoman of the Greens, forces a EU-wide common European deposit system and a Plastic taxto reduce the amount of plastic waste produced. By 2030, the Greens want to reduce packaging waste by at least 50% and reduce the Recycling rates for plastic so that all new plastic products placed on the market in the EU are recycled or completely degradable.

The leader of the Green Party, Toni Hofreiter, presented his second point plan to me in a personal conversation. 

  1. Microplastics in cosmetics and personal care products in Germany and throughout the EU by law.
  2. Avoid plastic packaging and disposable plastic containers, tax crude oil for the plastic industry (so far a 780 million euro subsidy for plastic production per year), consistent recycling, innovative circular economy, and replace plastic with environmentally friendly materials.

The Left - they are also fighting against plastic waste

What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

Also the Left sees the situation dramatically. The federal chairwoman of the Left Party, Katja Kipping, therefore reflects a similar opinion to that of the Greens. For the Left, waste avoidance, for example through Reusable packaging and waste recycling through Recycling effective countermeasures. They are calling for manufacturers to pay a resource levy on the use of plastic and for a Deposit system for disposable cups.

The SPD - taking a stand against plastic waste

What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

The party's own election manifesto shows that the SPD is also combating plastic waste with its policies. The party wants to combat excessive plastic waste through a Ban on single-use plastic and unnecessary packaging reduce. In addition, the focus is on the Promotion of packaging made from recycled material. In its climate protection campaign, the SPD also makes it clear that it will Microplastics in cosmetic products completely.

The FDP - counting on the consumer

What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

The FDP sees the problem somewhat differently. The Secretary General of the FDP, Nicola Beer, is relying on a international solution. It is necessary to work with international partners to create guidelines and incentives to reduce plastic consumption by at least 20 percent by 2025 and to enforce existing laws more consistently. The FDP also relies on empowered consumers.

The CDU/CSU - swimming with the tide

What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

Together with the SPD, the CDU/CSU parliamentary group has drawn up a 5-point plan in the fight against plastic waste, the key elements of which you will learn about in the course of this article. Unfortunately, the CDU/CSU believes that product bans are the wrong approach unless affordable alternatives are available. This consideration is absolutely correct, but all reusable products are also more affordable in the long term than the constant purchase of new disposable items. However, the CDU/CSU is committed to the Preservation and further development of the deposit system one.

The AfD - ignores plastic waste and climate protection

What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

The AfD is largely staying away from the topic of environmental protection. AfD politician Andreas Mrosek did venture a brief foray with a few facts about the plastic waste problem, but then again stated that Europe was only responsible for 2% of the world's plastic waste in the oceans. However, he did not question the fact that this figure could be deceptive. But since we ship a large proportion of our plastic waste from Germany to Asia, we are only glossing over our waste and recycling figures. At second glance, we display similar throwaway behavior. Since the AfD also rigorously ignores all existing facts about climate protectionis one of the parties we cannot count on in the fight against plastic waste.

Smaller parties against plastic waste

But there are also small parties in German politics that are actively campaigning against plastic waste. These include the PFD (the Plastic-Free Germany Party) and the Animal Protection Party.

PFD - Party Plastic Free Germany

What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

The core demands of the PFD are as follows. They demand a Complete ban on disposable PET bottles from 2025 and at the same time that all unnecessary plastic waste, such as plastic bags, is banned from everyday life. Likewise a Advertising ban for drinks in plastic bottles, especially disposable bottles, similar to the cigarette industry. And a thematic Processing of the dangers of plastic packaging/bottles by the federal center for health education.

The Animal Welfare Party in the fight against plastic waste

What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

The Animal Protection Party also calls the problem an environmental disaster. It calls for the industry to bear the costs of disposal and also for it to be obliged to sustainable packaging materials to switch. The party is also calling for a ban on unnecessary packaging and products such as plastic cutlery, plastic cups and other single-use plastic waste. Also a Ban on exporting German waste to developing countriesis being forced. This is because solutions are only actively sought when the problem remains at home.

The 5-point plan of the current government

What German political parties are doing against plastic pollution

The governing parties - i.e. the CDU/CSU and the SPD - have presented their strategy for less plastic and more recycling with the so-called 5-point plan. I have compiled a list of the most important measures. 

1. avoid unnecessary plastic packaging

  • Ban on disposable tableware (as already decided by the EU Commission): Straws, plastic tableware and cotton buds are also to be banned in Germany by 2019.
  • Manufacturers should pay for the costs of discarded disposable products. (see Packaging law 2019)
  • Drinking tap water should be actively promoted.
  • Microplastics in cosmetics to be stopped by 2020.
  • Extensive research project on the ecological consequences of using disposable coffee cups.
  • Dialog with the trade to avoid superfluous packaging, to achieve a voluntary commitment.

2. make packaging more environmentally friendly

  • Financial incentives for ecological design. This should make environmentally friendly packaging and products worthwhile for manufacturers.

3. strengthen recycling

  • The recycling quotas for plastic packaging are to be increased. To this end, the ministry wants to start talks with manufacturers, retailers and recyclers.

4. avoidance of plastics in biowaste

  • The sense of the organic garbage can should be advertised more.
  • Plastic in compost should be avoided through education.

5th International fight against marine litter

Ten rivers worldwide carry around 90 percent of plastic waste into the world's oceans. The Garbage vortex in the sea are making their mark. Neighboring countries are to be supported in the environmentally friendly disposal of plastic waste. A total of 50 million euros will be made available for the export of technologies to combat marine littering.

The work of politics against plastic waste - is that enough?

Basically, I also believe that the path to less plastic waste must be based on several pillars. These range from recycling and waste prevention to higher taxes on products containing plastic. Apart from the fact that this path should have been taken much earlier by politicians, financial incentives and voluntary measures are too half-hearted an approach in my opinion.

I don't believe that change will work without legal regulations or additional taxes on the production of plastic. With the best will in the world, I can't imagine that the industry would voluntarily stop producing plastic products. After all, the economy is all about profit. 

There are already so many environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic packaging and products. I'm thinking of bioplastics made from sugar cane or polystyrene made from mushrooms. And then there's take-away packaging, such as that used by the big fast-food chains. 

Not to mention the many alternatives to the disposable coffee cup such as the already functioning coffee cup deposit system to own, reusable cup made from natural materials. I don't need an extensive research project to find out whether the Coffee2Go cup has an impact on the environment! And I believe that there is also life after the "disposable coffee cup - it is already being initiated by many consumers.

Likewise, you can be Drinking water from the tap with a water bubbler (as I do at home for a very long time) as a delicious mineral water refine and through the multiple use of the Glass flasPaperless Office – The Best Tips To Change And Save Paper In The Officehen also protects the environment.

Understanding plastic waste as a serious environmental problem

Plastic waste in the environment is one of the biggest environmental problems of our time. I think the 5-point plan from politicians is a good start, but due to the urgency, the points are not aggressive enough to solve the problem in my opinion. In my opinion, plastic products such as bags or straws should have been banned much earlier and worldwide. Because I have the feeling that many people forget that all the plastic waste that is already in the sea and is being added to it every day cannot simply be fished out. What's inside stays inside. Because when the plastic bottle has slowly decomposed after 500 years, it remains Microplastics in the sea back. And that ends up back on our plates in the form of fish. (see Bio-accumulation of toxins - plastics in the food chain)

Because my generation in particular has to live in the future that is being left to us with the current decisions. We don't want a future in a destroyed ecosystem. And the fact that this issue is a top priority for us can also be seen from the fact that more and more young people are getting involved. They #fridaysforfuture.

What do you think about plastic waste politics? Which party do you think is doing best? Please write me a comment.

Best regards,

Livia Kerp

PS: If you want to learn how to live waste-free and plastic-free, I recommend the Online Course 30 Days To Zero Waste from Christoph - after the 30 days you will hardly make any more garbage!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Livia Kerp

Livia Kerp

I'm Livia Kerp, 17 years old and have been blogging since 2015. I was a jury member for the Youth Word of the Year 2016-2018 and write the RTL Youth Column, as well as a column for the online magazine and the Münchner Samstagsblatt. My main topics are social issues from politics (youth politics and environmental protection), entertainment and my hometown Munich.

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