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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.
‘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.
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.
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