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  • Dear Readers!

    There is a political stalemate in Germany at the moment. With four of the six parties elected to Germany’s new Parliament failing to find a compromise so that they can form a government, the country’s political future – at the time we went to print – is more uncertain than ever. A so-called Jamaica coalition, which gets its name from the colours of the different parties: black for the two Conservative coalition partners CDU and CSU, yellow for the Liberals FDP, and green for the Bündnis90/Die Grünen (the colours of the Jamaican flag), would appear to no longer be an option after the parties’ exploratory talks broke down on 19 November. At the same time, the Social Democrats seem to be sticking to their decision not to form another ‘grand coalition’ with their Conservative counterparts. There are certainly some huge political hurdles to overcome. Whilst some would prefer more state control, others are looking to follow a more typically liberal course with greater freedom for businesses. The Green’s desire to speed up the move towards an energy sector without fossil fuels (including shutting down coal-fired power stations and getting rid of internal combustion engines earlier than planned) is proving to be an obstacle for those with more conservative political interests. And, whilst the Liberals are finally fighting to expand digital networks in rural areas, the Conservatives would appear to be merely paying digital lip service to this subject.

    And yet there is no time to lose. The economy is already going through a structural change as a result of the next industrial revolution and this revolution is both digital and electrical. It has come at a time when the world is facing the huge challenges of climate change and a growing number of environmental problems which, in the end, will make it difficult to meet the global population’s needs.

    Even sand – a substance we would seem to be surrounded by – is becoming scarce. And, once again, it is our industry that has come up with a solution. If we are to curb global warming, move away from fossil fuels and conserve our planet’s raw materials, then setting up a genuine circular economy must be at the very centre of a government’s policy. If Germany, a country with so few natural resources of its own, is to remain an important industrial location in the future as supplies of raw materials become ever scarcer, then the spotlight must be turned on recycling. Recycling must be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, especially of product designers. The foundations were created for this when the Packaging Law was introduced during the last legislative period as this lays down product responsibility and market-based measures to promote recycling. What is needed now is to transfer these standards so that they apply to all products.
     
    There is always much to celebrate at the end of the year. REMONDIS is, for example, celebrating sixty years of plastics recycling at RE PLANO and, of course, that you – our custom-ers, friends, partners and employees – have remained loyal to us throughout the year. Together, day by day, we can help make the world that little bit more sustainable.
     
    We would like to thank you for your great support and collab-oration over the last twelve months and wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful New Year.

    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann

A strong team

Poliomyelitis, more commonly referred to as polio, is an illness that has been almost completely eradicated with there being only a few known cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ‘Deckel drauf e.V.’ [Put a lid on it], an association founded and organised by the Rotary Club, has certainly helped to stamp out this disease. It has set up a system across the whole of Germany that enables plastic bottle tops to be collected at supermarkets, kindergartens and schools. REMONDIS’ subsidiary RE Plano, all regional head offices and Rhenus PET-Recycling have been providing a number of services to support this successful project.

80,000 euros for vaccines

‘Deckel drauf‘ has already collected 300,000 kilograms of plastic bottle tops since 2015 – the equivalent of around 150 million tops. The majority of these have been sold to RE Plano’s plastics recycling facility in Lünen and to Rhenus PET-Recycling in Lüneburg and the proceeds donated to the Rotary Club’s ‘End Polio now’ campaign. More than 80,000 euros have been raised for polio vaccines with the Gates Foundation tripling any proceeds made from the plastic tops. The Rotary Club has been campaigning to eradicate this illness since 1985 and has already donated over one billion US dollars to help stamp it out. Africa has been free of the illness since 2014. The organisation’s current goal is to ensure it is eliminated once and for all. The civil wars currently raging in Afghanistan and Pakistan mean that there is an increased risk of the illness spreading again.

REMONDIS helps collect the bottle tops

    All in all, the company handles around 500,000 tonnes of waste from Düsseldorf every year

  • The REMONDIS Group’s firms and its sister company, Rhenus, have been supporting this project by collecting almost two thirds of all the bottle tops from the various drop-off points and then recycling them. All plastic bottle tops made of the material, HDPE, can be left in the collection boxes if they are smaller than 4cm. This material is normally used to make the tops for drinks bottles and drinks cartons (e.g. milk and juice cartons) as well as the yellow part of a Kinder egg. The proceeds from 500 bottle tops cover the cost of one polio vaccine.

The project founder is really pleased with the response

  • Dennis Kissel is the founder and chairman of ‘Deckel drauf e. V.’ His job is certainly one of the reasons why he came up with this idea: having worked within the recycling industry for so many years, he is well aware of how important plastic is. Being a member of the Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln Rotary Club, he decided to unite the ‘End Polio now’ project with protecting the environment and recycling this valuable raw material. “I thought up this idea over a glass of wine during a Rotary International Convention in Lisbon. It was most definitely a very good wine. We are delighted that the project has received so much support from our partner firms. Once polio has been stamped out, we will use the proceeds to support other good causes,” commented Dennis Kissel.

    Dennis Kissel is managing director of AWSH Abfallwirtschaft Südholstein GmbH. He made the most of his recycling expert-ise to set up his ‘Deckel drauf e. V.’ project

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