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This was the message that TSR Recycling and Scholz Recycling GmbH chose for their first joint Parliamentary Evening which was held in Berlin at the beginning of November. Their goal: to make politicians, industrial leaders and associations more aware of the urgent need to use recycled raw materials.
Demand for raw materials is growing. The world’s population is expected to have exceeded the 10 billion mark by 2050 with per-capita raw material consumption increasing at an exponential rate. That’s the one side of the coin. On the other, we have our finite supplies of natural resources. This development is already having a huge impact on our environment: massive scars on our landscape and higher energy consumption are the high price we have to pay to extract and process raw materials. Which means we all have an obligation to handle natural resources more responsibly.
“This obligation can only be met with systematic recycling,” explained Bernd Fleschenberg, managing director at TSR, and Dr Klaus Hauschulte, CEO of Scholz Recycling. United in their cause, these two managing directors made the most of this event – which took place under the patronage of German MP Dr Matthias Heider (CDU) – to make all those attending more aware of the responsibility society has when it comes to recycling. The guests: politicians, business leaders and representatives of trade associations. TSR and Scholz called for three concrete measures to promote the responsible handling of raw materials. “As far as politics is concerned, we believe there is a need for a national council that has the powers to create an economic and statutory framework to promote the use of recycled raw materials,” Bernd Fleschenberg continued.
In addition, both CEOs called for the EU’s Ecodesign Directive to be extended to include the subject of recyclability. At the moment, the regulations set out in the directive are, for the most part, limited to the energy efficiency of individual products. “If the requirements of a modern recycling industry are to be met, then products must be designed so that preferably all of the raw materials in the product can be recovered and fully recycled,” Bernd Fleschenberg said. Both TSR and Scholz are of the opinion that a think tank must be set up if this is to be achieved – a kind of round table that enables key players from the worlds of industry, science and recycling to put their heads together and come up with joint solutions.
“As far as politics is concerned, we believe there is a need for a national council that has the powers to create an economic and statutory framework to promote the use of recycled raw materials.”
Bernd Fleschenberg, Managing Director at TSR Recycling
The speech provided much food for thought as could be seen in the podium discussion that followed: politicians, business leaders and trade association members exchanged views on how Germany’s current raw materials strategy could be amended to ensure much greater volumes of recycled raw materials were used in the future. And the discussions continued during the get-together afterwards. With this evening proving to be such a success, a similar function has already been organised for January 2019. It was clear that Bernd Fleschenberg is looking forward to the upcoming event: “Federal Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze has already agreed to take part in the podium discussion.”
Working together to promote recycling: Bernd Fleschenberg (Managing Director of TSR Recycling, far left) and Norbert Rethmann (Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the REMONDIS Group, far right) together with their fellow campaigners Dr Heider, Dr Hauschulte and H. Wilms