3Rs study – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle for the G8 nations
bifa worked on a project for the G8 nations, in which the developments in Germany within the new actions of the "Kobe 3R Action Plan" are described.
3R: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
With the 3R initiative started in 2004, the G8 nations intend to better anchor in their national waste management policies sustainability of the handling of raw materials through greater promotion of the three principles: "reduce, reuse, recycle, or the "3Rs" for short.
3R - put to test
Within the scope of its brief, bifa examined which points of the Kobe 3R Action Plan are already sufficiently covered by existing developments and actions taken, and in which gaps still exist and how these gaps can be filled. If the three objectives of the Kobe 3R Action Plan and the actions assigned to them are laid over the German waste management policy as a test grid, a very high degree of fulfilment is found. A substantial part of the proposed actions had already been implemented in Germany in the form of specific measures before 2008. For another part, on the other hand, the origin, e.g. in the form of an initial draft law, dates back to the time before 2008, but they were implemented by publication in the Federal Gazette in 2008–2011. Several provisions implement in national law, EU directives or regulations, which in turn partly came about due to efforts by Germany. With a now advanced version of the draft of an amended Recycling Management Act, Germany is taking another important step towards a waste industry whose particular trademark is high resource efficiency. Nonetheless, optimisation potential still remains; bifa drew up proposals for full utilisation of this potential for the Federal Ministry of the Environment ("Bundesumweltministerium"). During the course of the project, among other things, bifa analysed the imports and exports of notifiable wastes. bifa's analyses show that the balance has reversed since 1998: Whereas in 1998 around twice as much notifiable waste was exported than imported, since then imports have quadrupled and exports have fallen slightly. An important reason is the availability of highly efficient treatment and recovery capacities in Germany. However, the pollutant fractionation of wastes from countries with less developed disposal infrastructure leads to recurring controversy among the German public.
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