phone: +49-(0)4141-5292-0

09 Jul

Why do bottles end up in the sea?

No empty plastic bottle floats all by itself into the sea! Somebody must have helped a lot. Thoughtlessness, indifference, or lack of environmental awareness are the causes. The human, not the plastic is the problem. The user makes the bottle to the environmental sacrilege his individual and active contribution.

When the former German Federal Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mr. Klaus Töpfer gradually introduced his ideass of waste separation and resource conservation in Germany, for example by collecting, sorting and recycling lightweight packaging, about 30 years ago, I was very skeptical about this 'recycling approach'.

Since then, much has changed. From a few idealists, a "state-ordered sorting society" has emerged. The 'wrecking ball' - quite well known to elderlies - has had its time and is very rarely still in use. Instead buildings are now 'sorted' and controlled aborted nowadays. The demolition is processed and often used again. Everyone is collecting and sorting garbage and differentiate between residual waste and valuable materials such as paper, plastic and glass - both small and large.

So far so good. But the urge of the mobile society to want to enjoy everything everywhere, such as "coffee-to-go" and the countless "takeaway snacks", ensure in the end that after enjoying the "leftovers" frighteningly thoughtless "in the landscape" disappear.

Around the fast-food restaurants in the cities or at highway service areas, the prosperity garbage abound in the form of empty packaging and beverage cups on the roadside. After larger or smaller events, these places are like dumps. Somehow recycling awareness seems to be overrun at certain points - by the way: even demonstrations for a clean environment!

There is no 'Kurverwaltung' (spa-administration) in Germany that does not go to great lengths to keep its beaches and parks clean. Is it because that misconduct is not sanctioned? Now you can handle the problem by banning certain plastic consumer goods. But you can do it smarter and more sustainable: On the one hand convincing and developing better recycling system and on the other hand, to effectively punish 'incorrigible' and 'environmental freelancers'.

It is no one really helped, if instead of cups, dishes and plastic bags in the future paper, cardboard or wood spoiling the landscape. - So why forbid? - The smarter solutions need only be enforced.

With Best Regards

Walter Thieme
WTH Managing Director