Plastic is everywhere in our environment and is one of the most visible and biggest ecological problems we are facing today. It is a deadly danger for many living creatures that ingest plastic particles as food. The plastic flood may also pose risks to human health, as microplastics have even been detected in human blood. In addition, the production and consumption of plastic is fuelling the climate crisis.
For the first time in Germany, EDC-Free Europe campaign partners Women Engage For a Common Future (WECF), BUND and HEJ!Support have joined forces with other major civil society players in Germany to form an alliance to solve the plastics crisis and formulated 15 demands for the German government.
Germany is a European leader in the use of plastics. The country therefore has a very special responsibility to contribute to the global solution of the problem. It is high time to act jointly and decisively now!
Requirement 1: Reduce the consumption of plastics
Consistently reduce the production, consumption and emissions of all synthetic plastics. There must be no exceptions for bio-based and biodegradable plastics.
Demand 2: Manufacturers and distributors are liable for damages
Anyone who manufactures plastic products or packaging or places them on the market is responsible for all health, environmental and climate damage caused by the product, in accordance with the polluter pays principle.
Requirement 3: Clarification, transparency and information
The hazards of plastics and their ingredients for humans, the environment and the climate must be communicated to consumers in a transparent and clear manner throughout the entire life cycle.
Demand 4: Global agreement against the flood of plastics
The German government must immediately work on an international, binding agreement to solve the plastics problem.
Demand 5: Stop one-way
The production and marketing of disposable products must be drastically reduced immediately and a binding action plan with measures and time-bound targets must be adopted in good time.
Demand 6: Sustainable product design
Legal requirements must ensure durability, reuse, reparability and recyclability for all product categories.
Requirement 7: Product manufacturing without pollutants
The use of substances that are hazardous to health, the environment and the climate when processing raw materials into packaging and products must be banned immediately.
Requirement 8: Prohibit primary microplastics
Microplastics must be banned in products if they openly enter the environment during their use or function. This also applies to dissolved, liquid, gel or waxy synthetic polymers.
Requirement 9: Contain the use of plastics in the logistics chain
The shipping and logistics industry must discontinue disposable packaging and reduce filling materials. Plastics must not be allowed to escape into the environment during loading and transport, especially plastic pellets.
Requirement 10: Prevent microplastics by using plastics
Microplastics must not be released into the environment as a result of the use and weathering of plastics. This must be prevented by extensive measures.
Requirement 11: Priority for reusable systems
Reusable systems and their consistent promotion must be given priority in all consumer sectors along the entire supply chain. The German federal, state and local authorities must set an example.
Requirement 12: Limit the entry of plastics at sea
Waste disposal at sea must be prevented and bans strictly controlled. Synthetic scouring threads, such as in bottom trawling ("dolly ropes") must be banned.
Requirement 13: Binding targets for waste reduction
High quality plastic recycling and minimum use of recycled materials. Ban on plastic waste exports to countries with poorer disposal and recycling standards.
Requirement 14: Reduce use of raw materials
The use of primary raw materials for the production of plastics must be consistently reduced. This applies to fossil (crude oil, natural gas, coal), but also to renewable raw materials.
Requirement 15: Prohibit pollutants in raw materials
Pollutants that can be dangerous for humans, the environment and the climate must no longer be used as additives in the production of plastic raw materials.
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