The share of reusable and ecologically advantageous one-way beverage packaging in 2007 continued its decline as compared to the previous year, taking a share of only 54.7%. The 2006 figure stood at 59.8%. The core reason for this decline is that one-way plastic packaging is squeezing reusable bottles and beverage cartons out of the market. The reusable beer bottle has been the only packaging to hold its ground, with a share of 86%. The share of water sold in ecological packaging is a mere 47.3%, and soft drinks are at 42.8%. These are the results of a study carried out by the Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung (GVM) on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).
”This is a development in the wrong direction”, said UBA Vice President Dr. Thomas Holzmann, ”for reusable bottles and ecologically advantageous one-way beverage packaging are far better for the environment as compared to cans and one-way bottles.” They consume a smaller volume of resources and energy throughout their life cycle and thus contribute less to the greenhouse effect.
Although the strain on the environment has been relieved through recuperation of one-way bottles and cans, a 25-cent deposit on them, as well as subsequent high-standard recycling, reusable packaging still poses the lesser burden for the environment.
The Federal Environment Agency’s recommendation: Choose reusable packaging! It is always the right choice for the sake of the environment.
The Consumption of beverages in one-way and reusable packaging 2007 study (in German: Verbrauch von Getränken in Ein- und Mehrwegverpackungen – Berichtsjahr 2007) includes tables and graphs about beverages consumption, kinds of beverages on the market, and packaging used. A free download is available at: http://www.umweltdaten.de/publikationen/fpdf-l/3832.pdf.
Dessau-Roßlau, 12 August 2009