A new report compiled by Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT on behalf of the Alba Group has revealed that the Group saved over 4.2 million tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 through the closed-loop circulation of 6 million tonnes of recyclables. This achievement, said the report is equivalent to the positive annual impact on the climate of about 59 million trees.
At the same time, recycling such resources as crude oil, bauxite and iron ore yielded savings of 32.3 million tonnes, compared to primary production.
“Recycling leads to far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the use of primary raw materials,” said Axel Schweitzer, CEO of the Alba Group. “There is no better argument for the increased use of recyclates,”
How can it be that, once again, the German Bundestag has failed to specify minimum quotas for the use of recyclates in its amendment to the Circular Economy Act, he wonders.
“Another opportunity has been missed to push ahead with the transition from a resource-intensive to low-CO2 economy in which raw materials aren’t lost but are recycled.”
Schweitzer is calling for the German government to use its current presidency of the EU Council to legally anchor mandatory quotas for the use of recyclates – especially in view of the stricter climate goal announced by the EU Commission.
“The Federal Government must still take the opportunity to encourage Brussels to create markets for recyclates,” he said.
Fraunhofer has been following the recycling activities of the Alba Group and how these affect affecting the climate and natural resources for 13 years, publishing the results each year in a brochure entitled resources SAVED by recycling.
“Our life-cycle analysis demonstrates the currently excellent potential of recycling for climate protection right down to the kilogram,” said Markus Hiebel, director of the Sustainability and Participation Department at Fraunhofer UMSICHT.
He sees a growing willingness on the part of the industry and consumers to take responsibility and to work more closely together. Many manufacturers are now committed to using recycled raw materials in their products.
“All in all, further incentives should be created to increase the use of recyclates. If the share of recyclates becomes a purchasing criterion in the procurement, this will significantly increase demand,” Hiebel noted.