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  • Dear Readers!

    Once again another successful year is drawing to a close for our family-run company. This sentence, or one similar, can be read really quite often. In our case, a look back at the editorial of our 2018 Christmas issue might bring on a smile. Exactly one year ago, we spoke of the great business opportunities in both the recycling industry and the transport sector. At the time, we wrote in our editorial: “We have been able to make the most of these opportunities by taking steps to acquire DSD – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (and to purchase shares in Transdev). Both transactions must still be approved by the relevant authorities.”

    As we know today, twelve months on, the acquisition of shares in the Transdev Group worked out perfectly while the other – DSD – has, at least for the time being, been blocked by the German monopolies commission. Having assessed the packaging recycling market last year, we believed that DSD did not have a dominant market position – something that has been further underlined by the latest developments. The customer structure within the Dual System has changed dramatically since the Schwarz Group became, practically overnight, one of the five largest recycling companies after taking over Tönsmeier and expanding into the packaging market with its renamed firm, PreZero. REWE, one of the three biggest distributors of sales packaging in Germany, has changed its Dual System provider and moved to Reclay. And, on 19 November, a press release was published in the media that Aldi has also changed its provider and is now licensing its packaging with Interseroh instead of DSD. It will be interesting to see if and to what extent these latest developments will impact on the Regional Appeal Court’s ruling.

    Looking at the world of politics, 2019 has ended with the German government bringing out a concrete climate action package. The recycling industry, which has played a major – if not decisive – role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions since the introduction of the TaSi [Technical Directive on the Recycling, Treatment and Disposal of Municipal Waste] in 2005, is rubbing its eyes in disbelief having read the 22 pages. A mere 16 lines have been devoted to our industry. Perhaps they are already simply taking the positive impact we have on tackling climate change for granted? It is probably more likely that they continue to underestimate the potential of recycling to combat climate change. And there is still so much unused potential. Were the substitution rate, i.e. the share of recycled raw materials used in industrial production processes, to be doubled from the current 15% to 30%, then this alone would lead to emissions of CO2 equivalents being cut by around 60 million tonnes. The fact remains that comprehensive recycling measures will enable the climate goals to be met. Indeed, REMONDIS shows that this is possible every single day.

    With this optimistic outlook, I would like to thank you all for your great support and collaboration over the last twelve months. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful 2020.

    Yours Ludger Rethmann

Working to improve plastics recycling

  • geTon, an environmental initiative launched last year, has made it its goal to provide more information about plastics recycling and to improve waste segregation. Its geTon on Tour campaign, which has taken it across the whole of Germany, has not only been a resounding success, it is also proving to be a great opportunity to get feedback from the public.

A mixture of information and entertainment

The first step to tackling climate change is for us to separate our waste correctly in our own homes. This is the central message of the geTon on Tour campaign and it has received a very positive response across the country. Standing in front of supermarket entrances from Kiel in the north to Munich in the south, the geTon on Tour team have already spoken to over 20,000 people. Working together with local waste management advisers and consumer advice centres, this team of experienced teaching specialists have been spending a whole day in front of a supermarket presenting their programme of information, games and entertainment to members of the public.

“The consumers weren’t only interested in taking part in the programme; they also gave us their thoughts on the subject of plastic and recycling. They have three main wishes: less plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables, more information about the packaging and clear, simple rules for sorting old packaging,” explained the coordinator of the initiative, Claudia Fasse.

Several companies involved

  • REMONDIS, one of the companies involved in founding geTon, was particularly pleased to see just how great the interest has been in this campaign. “Separating waste correctly at source in people’s homes is one of the most important ways to help curb climate change. Every tonne of recycled plastic produced from old sales packaging reduces carbon emissions by up to 1.6 tonnes. Which means, of course, that this initiative reaches the right people – and gets everyone talking together,” commented REMONDIS managing director, Herwart Wilms.

    To discover more about the ‘Gelbe Tonne’ initiative go to get-on.org

    The geTon initiative unites companies from all stages of the plastics life cycle: the packaging manufacturer Alpla, the brand firm Procter & Gamble, the retailing business Schwarz Group, the ‘dual systems’ der Grüne Punkt, Interseroh and PreZero and, last but not least, the recycling companies REMONDIS and ALBA. The goal of the geTon initiative is to minimise consumption of crude oil by avoiding the use of packaging in the first place and promoting the correct separation of waste (i.e. ensuring recyclable materials are put in the recycling bin) in order to help tackle climate change.

    A few images from the geTon on Tour campaign

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