Polyproblem – Plastics and the Environment

Despite enormous public attention to the increasing environmental impact of plastic waste, a global agenda to solve the problem is not in sight. This is the critical finding of a policy paper we published jointly with the Röchling Foundation.

Not a day goes by without major media reports on plastics in the environment. Sometimes it’s about spectacular ideas for cleaning the oceans, sometimes it’s about new insights into microplastics, sometimes it’s about actions for a plastic-reduced life.

Our study shows that many of these initiatives launched by civil society, businesses, politics and academia do not only coexist next to each other. Some of the arguments and approaches also contradict each other.

POLYPROBLEM helps everyone who wants to have a holistic view of the plastic problem and derive their own strategic way forward.

Our publication compiles the most important challenges, solutions and actors in a compact overview and provides orientation for all those who would like to get involved in the field of plastics and the environment. Who is pursuing which goal? What are the different priorities? And above all: Is there any prospect of a global plan?

To answer these questions, we spoke with international experts from politics, civil society, business and academia. We have analysed the most important networks and their strategies and transparently compiled the sources of information relevant to the topic.

We would like to thank everyone who made this study possible. The entire Röchling Foundation team, above all Uwe Amrhein, Annunziata Gräfin Hoensbroech and Julia Eberhardt for the excellent and intersting cooperation. To all the experts who provided us with their time and knowledge in the field of plastics and the environment.

You can request free printed copies, also in larger numbers, at info@roechling-stiftung.de.

The publication can also be downloaded from www.roechling-stiftung.de in German and English.


POLYPROBLEM: The Stakeholder Dialogue Plastics & Environment

Date: March 27, 2019
Time: 09:00 h – 14:30 h
Location: Kalkscheune, Johannisstraße, 10117 Berlin

POLYPROBLEM – The Stakeholder Dialogue brought together leading actors from civil society, politics, research and industry to discuss together what collaborations we are making, so that the high attention paid to the plastic and environmental housekeeping leads to effective solutions.

Joining forces. Developing solutions together instead of always launching new individual projects. The aim of the first joint stakeholder dialogue PolyProblem of the Röchling Foundation and Wider Sense was to better combine the possibilities of business, science and civil society. Guided by the idea of Collective Impact, around 150 experts from politics, foundations, civil society and industry met to discuss the challenges of plastics in the environment with leading organisations such as Ocean Conservancy, Fraunhofer Umsicht, Plastics Europe and Zero Waste Europe.

The conclusion:

  • Innovation and collaboration are needed – common mechanisms are not enough to keep plastic waste out of the environment. The principle of responsibility of the petrochemical and packaging industry will also play a role, as will product designers who develop new products and each individual consumer.
  • More objectivity is called for – the visibility of the problem must not be hastily divided into camps through emotional discussions fueled by the media. The truth lies between propagating simple solutions and denying the problem. Polyproblem needs Polyvox.

You can find further information on the event here (in German).