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For over 100 years, billions of tons of plastics have been produced, most of which are only used once. Originally enormously celebrated as a material innovation due to its many positive properties, the extensive mass use of plastics in all areas now leads to considerable problems. Plastic is extremely cheap and extremely versatile in various mixtures. However, it is poorly degradable and, due to the infinite variety of mixtures, unfortunately hardly recyclable. Once it reaches nature, it decomposes into smaller and smaller pieces (micro- and nano-plastics) over hundreds of years. But it is not really decomposed. Marine animals get caught in drifting ghost nets. Birds that use plastic parts as nesting material strangle themselves in them. Birds and animals that mistake plastic parts for food starve to death because their stomachs are filled with plastic. The influence of the hormonally active substances of the plastic leads to feminisation, also to reduced reproductive capacity. Significant traces of microplastics have already been found in water as well as in fields and even in humans. And yet, the industry expects exponential growth in the plastics industry.

There are 7 types of plastics:
1. PET or PT or polyester (polyethylene terephthalate) e.g. for food and beverage packaging
2. HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) e.g. for shopping bags, non-transparent milk and juice containers, shampoo bottles and medicine containers
3. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) e.g. for toys, blister foil, cling film, detergent bottles, loose-leaf binders, medical tubes
4. LDPE (low density polyethylene) e.g. for food storage bags, container lids, squeezable bottles (e.g. for honey, mustard)
5. PP (polypropylene) e.g. for hot water tanks
6th PS (polystyrene) e.g. for food containers, egg cartons, disposable cups and trays, packaging, bicycle helmets
7. other: plastics coated or mixed with other plastics such as bioplastics, e.g. plant pots

No, it has certain functions that enable us to make devices such as computers, mobile phones and cars. The problem is mainly the one-off use of plastics such as plastic bags, bottles, food containers, among others. We have to make sure that plastic is designed in a circular fashion so that no more plastic ends up in the environment.

Bio-plastic is an unprotected term. Bioplastic consists of biobased materials, which are mostly made from biological substances and not from crude oil. As soon as a material composition contains a degradable material, such as corn starch or bamboo fibre, even as a small component, it may be called bio-plastic. This does not say anything about the degradability of the material.

Even the addition of the word "compostable", as found, for example, in maize starch-based garbage bags or to-go cups, does not mean that the material can be put into the green bin or even into your own home compost. This is because they require a composting cycle of 8 weeks, whereas composting plants in Germany only operate with cycles of 6 weeks. At the same time, compostable rubbish bags cannot be clearly distinguished from regular plastic bags, which causes additional difficulties for the sorting plant.

Circular Economy means recycling management. It is a strategy for reusing products and materials by reducing the consumption of waste and natural resources. The aim is to change the industrial process in such a way that no waste products are produced, but resources can be reused. This is particularly important so that the ecological system is no longer negatively affected, whether by extensive extraction of resources or by the littering of our environment.

Zero Waste is an environmentally friendly solution against environmental pollution by reducing the consumption of plastics and by sensible recycling of materials and raw materials. This reduces the consumption of energy and natural resources. A major concern of the Zero Waste groups is to reduce the amount of waste so that no waste ends up in the environment.