For the bin: What the ban on single-use plastic means

Für die Tonne: Was das Verbot von Einmalplastik bedeutet

Tomorrow, July 3, 2021, the ban on single-use plastic will come into force in Germany. The long-awaited - and at least as long heatedly discussed - regulation was passed by the EU Parliament in 2018. It will also be implemented across Europe this summer. The specific demand: Ban single-use plastic wherever there are good alternatives. Environmental activists criticize the regulation - it does not go far enough. What are the problems? And how could it be made better?

Single-use plastic: no production, yes sale

The most important things first: Starting tomorrow, only the production (and new sales) of single-use plastic items will be banned. The sale of existing articles is still allowed on a transitional basis. How long the transition phase will last has not yet been determined. But why is there a transition phase at all? The ban on single-use plastic does not come as a complete surprise - it has been known for three years that and when it will come into force. Couldn't the production have been adjusted in advance? The sight of disposable plastic items in the supermarket will certainly accompany us for quite a while.

In addition, not all single-use items will be banned. The new regulation initially only affects a small selection of single-use plastic. These include u. To Go cups, cutlery, cotton buds, balloon sticks, stirrers, plates, bowls, drinking straws and food containers made of Styrofoam (Source: Chancellor Angela Merkel sees the regulation as an important step forward.

"The waiver will be easy and relieve our environment a lot"

so Merkel in her weekly video podcast. However, it is to be feared that manufacturers will simply re-declare their disposable products as reusable products, says Patrick Hasenkamp, ​​Vice President of the Association of Municipal Enterprises.

Ways out of the throwaway society

So what sounds really good at first is pretty weak on closer inspection. Therefore, a second regulation comes into force: the labeling obligation. Products containing single-use plastic must be labeled as such. In addition, there must be a note on the packaging as to how the product is properly disposed of or recycled. This should make it easier for consumers to make an informed decision. 

Photo: "Recycle Logo From Recycling Bin" by csatch is marked with CC0 1.0

That sounds a bit better, but - in our opinion - still doesn't go far enough. Sure: Every little helps. Better to take small steps than not at all. The federal government therefore wants to implement further regulations in the next few years that will limit the throwaway mentality. From next year, for example, there will no longer be any small, thin plastic bags in supermarkets. But there is more! We ask ourselves: why wait until next year?

HÄNG biologisch abbaubare Verpackung

That's why we don't do ours HANG been on plastic packaging for some time. Instead, the HANG comes in biodegradable packaging, which can end up in the compost after unpacking. Our shipping bags will also be replaced by biodegradable ones in the near future. We want to gradually extend this to all our products.

We also try to keep waste in production to a minimum. We achieve this by upcycling leftovers from the HÄNG, for example - they are used in the BEG further processed.

With our partner, the Eden Reforestation Projects, we also plant two trees for every order to actively do something for the CO2 offset. With a small payment (1€ per tree) you can support the project with every order. And if you've ordered from us before, we'll plant an extra tree if you write us a review.

By the way, we have exactly how planting trees works here and  here already examined in more detail. 

We are aware that these are small steps for environmental protection. But we are convinced that these are steps in the right direction.