Fighting the plastic flood

Recycling world champion Germany? The figures speak against this well-known claim. Germany produces around 18.2 million tonnes of packaging waste annually, with plastic packaging accounting for 3.1 million tonnes. This puts Germany at the top of the table in Europe. Only Luxembourg, Estonia and Ireland produce even more plastic waste. Real solutions to keep the plastic flood down have yet to be found. An initiative of the Frankfurt Werte-Stiftung is now taking on this task.

Under the project title "The Mission I: Waste - Be circular", its founding and innovation platform "Futury" chose five teams of students who have previously applied and now have the task of developping innovative and sustainable concepts for reducing plastic waste. The task of the teams is to develop innovative and sustainable concepts for reducing plastic waste. The teams are accompanied and supported by experienced companies. Alongside Reinert, the Schwarz Group and Nestlé, Weber Maschinenbau is also a partner in this project. The young researchers now have three months to develop ideas and concepts. Tobias Weber, CEO of Weber Maschinenbau, and Alexander Burk, Head of Software Development, and other Weber employees actively support the project. "Plastic waste is a global problem and threatens our planet and our seas. It is therefore all the more important that companies from the entire value chain work together to tackle this problem and find solutions to promote the use of recyclable plastics," says Tobias Weber about his participation in this project.

The teams are working on different approaches, but all have the same goal: to reduce plastic waste. For example, there are ideas for a take-back system that will not only be used for drinks, but also for cheese. Another group is working on setting up a global recycling database that can be used to find out whether, which and how packaging materials for consumer goods are recycled in certain regions of the world. Weber Maschinenbau works closely with the "Sliceomat" team, which is working on a solution to minimise plastic waste in sliced meat production. In addition to investigating consumer behavior, insights into product requirements and supermarket regulations will play a role in the research. In December, the teams will then present their results and the winners of the competition can hope to found a company.

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