We have now been living in completely unusual times for half a year. The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 determines our lives. The measures to handle the worldwide pandemic it has triggered and the almost desperate attempts to return to some kind of "normality" are testing our society. Certainties that until recently were considered to be almost incontrovertible, especially in the environmental debate, are now suddenly beginning to falter. Where disposable packaging was to be avoided wherever possible – not only, but particularly for food – we now find that it can be advantageous after all in terms of hygiene. So it is not surprising that its quantity has increased significantly in recent months. At the same time, the quantity of commercial waste for disposal has reduced. At the end of last year, experts expected precisely the opposite. Nobody can really predict when these trends will reverse again. For me, however, this very clearly shows that monocausal or one-dimensional approaches do not get us anywhere. We must learn to deal with complex, nonlinear processes. You will find several examples of this in this bifa-aktuell.