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  • Dear Readers!

    Everyone’s greatest wish at the moment is for life to return to normal. So let us take a look at the positive things that have happened. And there have been a great deal of them, many of which can be put down to the very good collaboration with you – our partners, friends and employees. As the year draws to a close, it is traditionally a time to take stock of the last twelve months and happily 2020 was not as bad as may have been expected considering the overall situation. At the same time, we can look ahead to 2021 with hope and optimism.

    One example is our return to the Dual System, the scheme in Germany for managing old sales packaging. Maybe some of you may remember when we withdrew our own Dual System, EKO-PUNKT, from the market in the summer of 2014 as it had become impossible to predict the legal and business risks at the time. But then the Packaging Law came into force – finally putting an end to the infinite number of amendments that were being made to the old Packaging Ordinance. Which means that the necessary framework conditions are now in place for us to return to the Dual System market. Following its first attempt (the acquisition of DSD which was unfortunately turned down by the monopolies commission), REMONDIS has now purchased RK, a Dual System that owns a full set of valid licences but, as yet, has no share of the market. Ideal conditions for us to play a role in this market again – something that is as natural for a recycling firm to do as it is for Father Christmas to wear a red hat. And so RK will become the new EKO-PUNKT Dual System. In the style of that famous film from the 80s, we’re going “Back to the future!”

    Christmas is also a time where we may traditionally make a wish. The European Commission and the German government wish to have so-called green steel, i.e. steel that is produced without fossil fuels and so emits as little CO2 as possible. Focus is being put here on “green hydrogen” as a potential climate-neutral source of energy. As with so many wishes, however, the first question is where should this green energy come from? And, above all, who should pay for it? Leaving aside the fact that there is as yet no official definition for green steel, the chances of there being sufficient supplies of green hydrogen available on the market any time soon would appear to be slim with the development towards renewable electricity generation moving so slowly. And yet, this sought-after green steel has been around for ages. It is produced from high quality scrap steel, over eight million tonnes of which is recovered and returned to production cycles by TSR using a process that is for the most part climate neutral – without having to consume land, without having to use additional resources and without having to needlessly transport material half way around the globe. Sounds almost like Christmas, but it’s true.

    Against the backdrop of all this good news, we would like to thank you all for the great collaboration work. May we take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and all the very best for the coming year.

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

Reassessing the situation

    • EKO-PUNKT, REMONDIS’ Dual System, handed back its licence in 2014 as it considered the business risks to be too great. For a while, it had become impossible for companies genuinely committed to supporting the packaging recycling market to work properly due to the unfair competition that existed at the time. This was primarily being caused by a number of market players who were simply erasing volumes of packaging out of existence and exploiting legal loopholes.

    Following the introduction and implementation of the new Packaging Law, Thomas Conzendorf, REMONDIS board member and managing director of EKO-PUNKT, believes that the conditions are now right for the company to return to the Dual System market. “Both the new statutory conditions and the work being carried out by the Central Agency’s Packaging Register have had a positive impact on the market. The call that we made back then for fair competition and for a central agency has been fulfilled. We’re delighted to be able to support our clients again and offer them the opportunity to hand over their packaging obligations to us.”

An experienced management team

  • This has all been made possible by the acquisition of the RK system this summer, which has a licence for the whole of Germany. EKO-PUNKT is being led by an experienced management team with Dr Florian Dühr as the company’s second managing director. “It is our aspiration to be a Dual System that offers its customers the best possible opportunities in the circular economy,” Dr Dühr explained. Based in Cologne, the company is looking to create long-standing business relationships.

    Ecodesign and minimum recycled content are two challenges for the future – and not just in the field of packaging recycling.

    • EKO-PUNKT’s offering is primarily targeted at companies that are genuinely serious about being sustainable. The ambitious recycling rates set out in the Packaging Law and the implementation of minimum standards have put an end to price dumping. Insiders are well aware that recyclate is scarce and that demand will soon exceed supply. In this regard, too, REMONDIS’ Dual System has the perfect set up with the Group’s operational collection and recycling network and investment strength.

  • “Both the new statutory conditions and the work being carried out by the Central Agency’s Packaging Register have had a positive impact on the market. The call that we made back then for fair competition and for a central agency has been fulfilled. We’re delighted to be able to support our clients again and offer them the opportunity to hand over their packaging obligations to us.”

    Thomas Conzendorf, REMONDIS Board Member & Managing Director of EKO-PUNKT

Promoting more sustainable packaging

  • EKO-PUNKT’s portfolio not only includes the core service of a Dual System, i.e. taking over a client’s packaging obligations. It can also, for example, check to see to what extent a client’s packaging can be recycled. Depending on the assignment, it can put forward proposals about making their packaging design more sustainable. A major task for the future will be to improve the ecodesign of packaging and efforts will have to be made by everyone involved in the supply chain – from the developers all the way through to the recyclers. This is the only way to close material life cycles. To make the very most of what is possible, EKO-PUNKT also offers its services to packaging manufacturers.

    Designing sustainable, eco-friendly packaging is one of the biggest challenges they are having to face at the moment as there is often still a big divide between everyone’s desire to have greener packaging and what is technically and financially viable. At the moment, it is simply not possible to completely dispense with composite materials that cannot be separated from each other – in the field of food hygiene, for example. Collaborating with EKO-PUNKT as part of an experienced recycling company can help both manufacturers and businesses placing packaging onto the market to better understand how packaging can be designed so that it can be fully recycled when it reaches the end of its useful life. Working closely with its customers, EKO-PUNKT is pursuing its goal of recycling as many packaging materials as possible – and preferably all of them – so they can be returned to production cycles as raw materials again and again.

Approved as a Dual System since July 2020

  • The sales phase set for 2021 began back in September 2020 for EKO-PUNKT. Having been absent from the market for so long, the first question customers had was whether the company had the official approval needed. EKO-PUNKT has been able to answer this with a resounding yes. Having been issued a licence for all 16 German states in accordance with Section 18 of the Packaging Law on 13.07.2020, EKO-PUNKT’s Dual System has the right to conclude contracts to take over a client’s packaging obligations across the whole of the country. And so, as far as EKO-PUNKT is concerned, it’s back to the future of packaging recycling.

    • EKO-PUNKT is licensed as a Dual System in all 16 German states. Find out more at eko-punkt.de

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