Member since: 05/2019

Active in: WG2

World Wide Fund for Nature – Germany

"The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) is one of the largest and most experienced conservation organizations in the world, active in more than 100 countries. It is supported by around five million sponsors worldwide. WWF's global network maintains 90 offices in more than 40 countries. Around the globe, employees are currently carrying out 1300 projects to conserve biological diversity. These projects also include information campaigns to reduce the use of disposable plastic and local projects to reduce the input of plastic waste into rivers and seas by improving waste management. Here we work with representatives of local WWF subsidiaries and with our international WWF team. WWF Germany is active in Vietnam on the island of Phu Quoc and in the Mekong Delta. There the WWF has developed a waste management concept for the province of Long An and is currently introducing a model project for the separate collection and recycling of waste. Another project is to support the implementation of extended producer responsibility systems in selected priority countries in order, among other things, to ensure sustainable financing of waste disposal and recycling management."

As plastic enters our environment it brings with it a number of risks. It damages various ecosystems on our planet and poses an acute danger to all the species living in our oceans, while plastic particles known as microplastics are absorbed into the food chain. That’s why we need to stop the uncontrolled flow of plastic into the environment. Moreover, inadequate waste infrastructure leads to wasted resources, air pollution and contaminated ground water, which in turn present risks to health and increase greenhouse gas emissions.
To tackle this issue, waste management systems around the world need to be improved, for example by avoiding unnecessary packaging; making sure products are designed to be recycled; reducing the proportion of waste that goes uncollected; introducing separate systems for collecting different types of waste, improving recycling and using more recycled materials. Setting up and improving systems for extended producer responsibility helps to secure sustainable levels of funding for a circular economy and improves recycling systems.
Thanks to the involvement of various interest groups, the Waste Alliance is in a position to support the development of a circular economy by helping to set up model projects and improve legal frameworks through international cooperation. The Waste Alliance is also an excellent platform for coordinating existing and planned projects in a sensible way.

Many materials are produced and disposed of as part of ‘open’ life cycles. Mineral ores and plastics end up as waste, much of which is either stored or released into the environment in an uncontrolled fashion. A genuinely circular economy brings enormous benefits. It saves resources, reduces emissions of the gases that cause climate change, and minimises the serious negative consequences of waste production on both the environment and human health. Waste that has been well sorted and separated can also be commercialised to generate revenue. From organic waste for compost to plastic packaging for new products and de-constructing electrical waste to recover valuable minerals – a circular economy brings a host of economic opportunities. The circular economy is still in its infancy from a global point of view. The decision as to whether certain types of waste should be re-used has to be about more than whether it is economically valuable. The circular economy should be encouraged through a combination of strict legal frameworks, economic incentives and the adoption of new technology, so that it no longer pays to waste raw materials and pollute the environment.