Germany is taking a stand against “throwaway society.”
On Monday, Svenja Schulze, the nation’s environmental minister, unveiled a new five-point plan to decrease the amount of plastic waste Germany produces.
“With these measures, we are reversing the trend in the use of plastics,” Schulze said in a statement, according to Deutsche Welle. “We produce far too much plastic in our consumer and throwaway society.”
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Schulze’s plan to address Germany’s wasteful ways centers on eliminating the use of unnecessary packaging, replacing existing packaging with environmentally friendly alternatives, increasing the percentage of waste that gets recycled, encouraging better separation of plastics from organic waste, and contributing to international efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste at sea.
Along with unveiling this five-part plan, Schulze also noted that Germany would support a recently passed European Union (EU) ban on 10 single-use plastics, such as plastic straws and cutlery.
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The plan is particularly notable because Germany is the worst offender in the EU in terms of plastic waste production. In 2016, each resident produced an average of 486 pounds of packaging waste, more than the amount produced in 2015 and significantly more than the 2016 EU average.
Germany is also largely considered one of the most powerful countries in the world, so its decision to support the EU’s ban could compel others to follow suit — meaning Schulze’s plan could set off a favorable ripple effect throughout the entire EU.
READ MORE: Germany Unveils 5-Point Plan to Reduce Plastic Waste [Deutsche Welle]
More on plastic bans: The EU Just Voted to Completely Ban Single-Use Plastics