Germany will embark on five-step plan to “reverse the trend in the use of plastics,” announced the country’s environment minister Sienna Schulze on Monday. Shulze says the plan is an important move in tackling the levels of plastic waste in Germany and beyond.
The five steps in the plan include: avoiding unnecessary products and packaging, making packaging and other products more environmentally friendly, increasing recycling and recycling stations, preventing plastics from getting into organic waste, and increasing international aid efforts to limit plastic waste at sea.
One move the ministry specifically mentioned was supporting a European-wide ban on single-use plastics like straws and plastic silverware, wrote DW.com. The European Commission proposed the ban on plastic items – including cotton swabs, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers, and balloon sticks – last June.
Schulze also pointed to the Germany’s $56.8 million investment in initiatives to remove plastic waste in oceans and called for more international commitment to reducing ocean plastics.
During a speech at the “Accelerating Change – for Sustainable Development Worldwide and In Germany” conference last May, Schulze outlined the Federal Environment Ministry’s priorities that she said will help the country achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These priorities included energy and resource transition, sustainable agriculture, sustainable mobility and livable cities, healthy living conditions, and international environmental and climate cooperation.
Schulze called these priorities the “programmatic framework” that will help the country implement the SDGs. “Now, we have to reconcile our strategies and walk the talk,” she said, adding that the only way to make that happen is to see that the world’s economic activities are significantly more sustainable.