Separation chart yellow bag

We’re part of the Müll­tren­nung wirkt cam­paign

As a dual sys­tem, we’re a mem­ber of the infor­ma­ti­on cam­paign Müll­tren­nung wirkt – sort­ing was­te works – which aims to edu­ca­te and inform the Ger­man public about recy­cling. The pri­ma­ry objec­ti­ves are to impro­ve the qua­li­ty of the pla­s­tic, metal and com­po­si­te pack­a­ging was­te dis­po­sed of in yel­low bins and yel­low bags, and to increase the quan­ti­ty coll­ec­ted. The same goes for the coll­ec­tion of used glass, paper, paper­board and card­board. The goal is to increase the amount of reusable mate­ri­al in the recy­cling loop – to pro­tect the cli­ma­te and con­ser­ve resour­ces.

What is the role of the dual sys­tems?

In Ger­ma­ny, dual sys­tems such as Noven­tiz Dual orga­ni­se the nati­on­wi­de coll­ec­tion, sort­ing and reco­very of used sales pack­a­ging for indus­try and com­mer­ce. Manu­fac­tu­r­ers and retail­ers report the amount and type of sales pack­a­ging they place on the mar­ket and pay par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on fees (also known as licence fees) to the dual sys­tem they’ve cho­sen. The latest ver­si­on of the Ger­man Pack­a­ging Act defi­nes the tasks of the dual sys­tems. Get your pack­a­ging licence in just a few clicks here.

Cli­ma­te action starts here. With you. Join us.

How to sort was­te pro­per­ly

With the cam­paign “Cli­ma­te action starts here. With you. Join us” con­su­mers are being edu­ca­ted on how to sort was­te pro­per­ly and why it mat­ters. It is still too com­mon for non-recy­clable was­te to be dis­po­sed of in yel­low bins and bags, which makes it dif­fi­cult – or even impos­si­ble – to recy­cle pack­a­ging. Mean­while, reusable mate­ri­als thrown away as non-recy­clable was­te are lost. The cam­paign aims to chan­ge this by encou­ra­ging con­su­mers to take action. Pack­a­ging can only be recy­cled if it is sor­ted and dis­po­sed of pro­per­ly.

Expl­ana­to­ry lists can help peo­p­le sort their was­te: The Müll­tren­nung wirkt cam­paign has com­pi­led lists in dif­fe­rent lan­guages that can be down­loa­ded and prin­ted.

rotate Logo

Recy­cling starts with pack­a­ging design

Envi­ron­men­tal­ly con­scious con­su­mers are deman­ding pack­a­ging that is high­ly recy­clable, and the Ger­man Pack­a­ging Act (Ver­packG) pro­vi­des for this. Pro­du­cers need to think about the recy­cla­bi­li­ty of their pack­a­ging.

With rota­te, our reco­g­nis­ed test method based on the appli­ca­ble mini­mum stan­dard set by the Cen­tral Agen­cy Pack­a­ging Regis­ter, we can assess your pack­a­ging for recy­cla­bi­li­ty and advi­se com­pa­nies on how to design more recy­clable pack­a­ging right from the out­set.

Would you like to know more about our assess­ment method?

Tog­e­ther for a sus­tainable future

Help us make a real dif­fe­rence for the bene­fit of the envi­ron­ment.

Ques­ti­ons and ans­wers

Pre­ven­ting the pol­lu­ti­on of the envi­ron­ment and the oce­ans

Was­te that is released into natu­re poses dan­gers to small ani­mals and plants, espe­ci­al­ly through the harmful effects of micro­pla­s­tic par­tic­les and other pol­lut­ants. Our oce­ans are par­ti­cu­lar­ly sus­cep­ti­ble to envi­ron­men­tal dama­ge, with pla­s­tic making up three quar­ters of all was­te pou­red into the sea. Thou­sands of ani­mals, inclu­ding fish, wha­les, dol­phins and sea­birds, die as a result of ent­an­gle­ment in rub­bish, asphyxia­ti­on in pla­s­tic bags, or mista­king was­te for food. Pla­s­tic takes hundreds or even thou­sands of years to decom­po­se. At most, it only breaks down into smal­ler, inso­lu­b­le par­tic­les and micro­pla­s­tics. Once in the oce­an, micro­pla­s­tics are inge­sted by mari­ne crea­tures and, through the food chain, even­tual­ly make their way into the human body. The impact of ina­de­qua­te­ly dis­po­sed (pla­s­tic) was­te has cata­stro­phic con­se­quen­ces for the envi­ron­ment.

Pro­per­ly dis­card­ed pack­a­ging at home sel­dom finds its way into natu­re or the oce­ans. On the con­tra­ry: Having been sepa­ra­ted by the con­su­mers, pack­a­ging is sor­ted accor­ding to mate­ri­al type using cut­ting-edge sort­ing machi­nes and is then sent to dedi­ca­ted recy­cling and reco­very plants. This pro­cess safe­guards the envi­ron­ment and con­ser­ves valuable raw mate­ri­als.

Every year, bet­ween 4.8 and 12.7 ton­nes of pla­s­tic are pou­red into our oce­ans. This pla­s­tic was­te does not sole­ly ori­gi­na­te from the ship­ping and fishing indus­tries, but a signi­fi­cant pro­por­ti­on is swept into the oce­ans by rivers, or car­ri­ed by the wind. Espe­ci­al­ly was­te from count­ries with ina­de­qua­te was­te coll­ec­tion and dis­po­sal ends up in the envi­ron­ment. Nine­ty per­cent of the pla­s­tic was­te found in the oce­ans has been trans­por­ted by one of ten rivers, eight of which are in Asia with the remai­ning two being the Nile and the Niger. Among the­se, the lar­gest amounts of pla­s­tic was­te are trans­por­ted by four rivers, name­ly the Yel­low River (Chi­na), the Yangtze (Chi­na), the Mekong River (Viet­nam) and the Gan­ges (India). But despi­te its effec­ti­ve coll­ec­tion and recy­cling sys­tem for pri­va­te house­holds, Ger­ma­ny still has a major pro­blem with lit­te­ring. Dis­posable pla­s­tic pack­a­ging, such as takea­way cof­fee cups, is a par­ti­cu­lar pro­blem. To pro­tect the envi­ron­ment, it’s best to take this sort of pack­a­ging home to dis­po­se of it ade­qua­te­ly. This ensu­res that used pack­a­ging can remain in the mate­ri­al life cycle and ser­ve as a basis for pro­du­cing new pack­a­ging.

The Ger­man Pack­a­ging Act ensu­res that Ger­ma­ny has a pro­fi­ci­ent coll­ec­tion and recy­cling sys­tem for pack­a­ging was­te, which is imple­men­ted by the dual sys­tems. The Pack­a­ging Act obli­ges pack­a­ging pro­du­cers to con­tri­bu­te towards the cost of coll­ec­ting, dis­po­sing and reco­ve­ring pack­a­ging, and sets high recy­cling rates. Moreo­ver, to pre­vent our envi­ron­ment and oce­ans from get­ting swam­ped with ever more pla­s­tic, dis­posable pla­s­tic pro­ducts have been ban­ned sin­ce 3 July 2021. The­se pro­ducts include:

  • Takea­way cups made of expan­ded poly­sty­re­ne (Sty­ro­foam)
  • Dis­posable cut­lery and pla­tes, inclu­ding tho­se made of “bio­pla­s­tics” and paper­board (with pla­s­tic con­tent or coa­ted)
  • Fast food pack­a­ging
  • Drin­king straws
  • Stir­rers and cot­ton swabs


In the next few years, addi­tio­nal regu­la­ti­ons will come into force. For ins­tance, from 2023, cate­ring busi­nesses, food deli­very ser­vices and restau­rants must pro­vi­de cus­to­mers with reusable con­tai­ners as an opti­on for takea­way food and bever­a­ges that does not cost cus­to­mers more than dis­posable solu­ti­ons.

The Ger­man govern­ment is also working at an inter­na­tio­nal level to redu­ce pla­s­tic was­te and pro­tect the oce­ans. Tog­e­ther with other par­ti­ci­pa­ting count­ries, it has deve­lo­ped action plans to fight oce­an pol­lu­ti­on, and offers fun­ding for part­ner count­ries to set up was­te and recy­cling manage­ment sys­tems.

In Ger­ma­ny, there’s an effec­ti­ve sys­tem for coll­ec­ting and recy­cling house­hold pack­a­ging was­te. If you sort and dis­po­se of your was­te cor­rect­ly at home, it won’t pol­lu­te the envi­ron­ment and the oce­ans! On the con­tra­ry: Pack­a­ging from the yel­low bins and bags as well as paper bins and bot­t­le banks gets coll­ec­ted and sor­ted befo­re being sent to spe­cia­li­sed recy­cling and reco­very plants. Sort­ing non-recy­clable was­te and pack­a­ging pro­per­ly can help pro­tect the envi­ron­ment and redu­ce the impact on the cli­ma­te, while con­ser­ving resour­ces.

Sort­ing was­te pro­per­ly is easy – here’s how.

But there’s more you can do, such as:

  • Use reusable pack­a­ging and con­tai­ners when­ever pos­si­ble.
    Try to choo­se returnable bot­t­les when shop­ping, and also avo­id dis­posable pack­a­ging when on the go. For exam­p­le:
    • Bring your own cup or get one that can be retur­ned for your takea­way cof­fee. In Ger­ma­ny, many cof­fee­shops alre­a­dy offer reusable cups through an offi­ci­al reu­se sys­tem.
    • Replace paper or pla­s­tic bags with a reusable box for your packed lunch.
  • Avo­id unneces­sa­ry was­te by taking a reusable shop­ping bag with you, and buy your fruit and veg loo­se.
  • Don’t use small pack­a­ging sizes such as samples or sin­gle-ser­vings. Opt for lar­ger packa­ges ins­tead.
  • When you go on a pic­nic, take bin bags with you so you can bring your rub­bish back home to sort and dis­po­se pro­per­ly.