German households disposed of more packaging waste in the COVID-19 impacted year of 2020, according to the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).
Data showed that 78 kilograms of packaging waste per capita were collected from private households in Germany in this period, marking an increase of 6 kilograms per person than in the previous year.
The total amount of packaging waste, which is mainly collected in the yellow bin, glass or paper containers separately from the residual waste, increased by almost 0.6 million tonnes or 9.3% to 6.5 million tonnes in 2020.
Lightweight packaging made of plastic, metal, and composite materials comprised the largest share of this waste, totalling 2.7 million tonnes, or 32 kilograms per person.
This was followed by glass packaging, amounting to 25 kilograms per person (2.1 million tonnes), and packaging made of paper and cardboard at 20 kilograms per capita (1.7 million tonnes).
The per capita volume of paper, cardboard, and cardboard packaging collected from private households rose by three kilograms compared to 2019.
Glass packaging waste increased by two kilograms more per capita, while the per capita amount of lightweight packaging remained unchanged compared to the previous year.
Recycled Packaging Waste
In 2020, around 6.4 million tonnes of used sales packaging was handed over to waste treatment plants or recycling companies after sorting. Out of this total, almost four-fifths (79% or 5.1 million tonnes) were recycled.
Data also unveiled that 12% of the waste (0.8 million tonnes) was recycled through various means, such as combustion plants.
The discrepancy between the collected and the delivered amount of 67,000 tonnes is caused, for example, by storage quantities at handling and sorting facilities as well as sorting losses, the study noted.