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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Germany’s plastic waste exports drop by 51% in last decade

Germany has exported significantly less plastic waste abroad in recent years, the Federal Statistical Office announced in Wiesbaden on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany. Photo credit: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

About 745,100 tonnes of plastic waste were exported last year, which meant that the amount had dropped by 51per cent over the past 10 years, according to the data.

“One reason for this is the import restrictions imposed by some Asian countries on plastic waste,’’ the official explained.

In 2012, for example, some 1.5 million tonnes were exported from Germany, compared to the previous year 2021; a decrease of 9 per cent was recorded.

The Federal Office announced the data on the occasion of the upcoming World Oceans Day on Thursday.

According to estimates, around 270,000 tonnes of waste are floating in the world’s oceans.

According to the Statistical Office, most plastic waste was exported to the Netherlands last year.

With almost 153,300 tonnes, 21per cent of all exported plastic waste went to the neighbouring country, which has an important transhipment point for sea freight with its port in Rotterdam.

Turkey (about 92,400 tonnes) and Poland (about 81,800 tonnes) were the second and third most important export countries.

In an EU-wide comparison, Germany is the largest exporter of plastic waste.

However, the gap with other countries has shrunk considerably compared to previous years.

The UN is negotiating an international plastics agreement.

Saying that by 2024, a convention would be drawn up in which binding rules and measures would be laid down for the entire life cycle of plastic.

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