Working Group 1

Working Group 1

Conserving resources

It is hardly possible to imagine our everyday life without plastic. On the one hand, it is a practical, versatile and hygienic material; on the other hand, it ends as waste in our environment with unknown consequences for human health; single-use packaging is the ultimate symbol of our throwaway society. We want to make a change together.

Developing and implementing strategies: Reduce, recycle, reuse plastic and, where possible, replace it with alternative materials.

This is the task of working group 1: Conserving resources. Representatives from business, civil society, politics and science work together to develop best practices for the prevention of plastic waste and guidelines for the use of secondary plastics and alternative materials. The aim is to implement these measures in pilot projects with our partner countries.

Objectives of the working group

Our aim is the sustainable use of plastics and the optimization of the existing materials cycle.
We want to effectively bring forward the prevention of plastic waste worldwide. We want to promote the recycling of plastic, focusing in particular on increasing the use of recycled plastics in new products. We want to develop recommendations for action for stakeholders and implement these accordingly.


The working group draws up concrete guidelines and recommendations for action. To this end, it collects and documents research results and experiences from various perspectives relating to plastic prevention, secondary raw materials and alternative materials.

Knowledge about individual solutions already exists. This information has to be consolidated as a whole and systematically put into practice. This is the only way of stopping plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and protecting the health of humans and animals.

The guidelines compiled upon this knowledge base will be adapted to the specific conditions in selected partner countries and implemented in pilot projects. That way, the measures will move from the initial planning phase to actual implementation.

To ensure that plastic is used responsibly as a recyclable material, concrete recommendations for action are being developed to prevent plastic waste at every step of the value chain. The working group is already collecting, evaluating and documenting existing best practice approaches from the spheres of politics, business, science and civil society. Knowledge sharing in between the different participants will lead to an expansion of the current expertise. Based on this common knowledge, guidelines will be developed and new activities will be initiated, for example campaigns designed to raise awareness about the prevention of plastic packaging.

The working group develops guidelines with the aim to analyse the use of different secondary plastics and alternative materials. The scientific basis for this is provided by studies on different packaging types, their composition, value and intended uses. International material flows and markets are analysed, and the different material uses are assessed and adapted to ensure they are cost effective and technically viable in the partner countries. The core focus here is on sharing ideas for new business models, transferring these and ensuring they make the leap to actual implementation.

Besides the provision of theoretical guidance, one to two partner countries will be supported with the implementation of concrete pilot projects. The measures developed in advance will be adapted to specific national and local contexts and implemented in production and processing workflows. The focus here is on preventing plastic waste in production and consumption and promoting the use of recycled materials. The working group organises specialist support, promotes knowledge sharing between the stakeholders and organises workshops. It also presents its results at international events and by doing so ensures high levels of public awareness.

Leads & Contact

Dr. Henning Wilts

Dr. Henning Wilts

Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie gGmbH

+49 (0)202 2492 139

Timothy Glaz

Timothy Glaz

Werner & Mertz

+49 (0)6131 9642032

All working groups

Working group 1

Conserving resources

Working group 2

Closing loops for packaging

Working group 3

Closing loops for electronic waste

Working group 4

Improving framework conditions on municipal level