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Survey: Germans have ambivalent relationship with plastics

According to a survey commissioned by IK and PlasticsEurope Deutschland, Germans' assessment ranges from "indispensable everyday companion" to "environmental enemy."


In this country, people usually have a split relationship with plastics and their use, according to the results of a survey conducted by Civey GmbH on behalf of the Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen (IK) and PlasticsEurope Deutschland, the plastics producers' association. On the one hand, consumers appreciated the particular advantages of plastics and would recognized their indispensability in many areas. According to the survey, more than 60 percent of respondents considered plastics indispensable in the medical and healthcare sectors, 54.5 percent in the computer and electronics sector, and 47.4 percent in vehicle manufacturing. 38.4 percent of respondents cannot imagine doing without plastics in the household and hygiene sector, and just under 31 percent in food. Asked about the greatest progress in the use of plastics, around 30 percent of consumers see progress in the recycling of plastics, while 28 percent also see progress in the multiple or reusability of plastics. Just under a third see no progress. Only slightly more than ten percent of those taking part in the survey were aware that plastics help to conserve resources and just under 15 percent that they contribute to climate protection. Respondents considered the biggest problems with the use of plastics to be pollution of the oceans ( 63.5 percent), microplastics (57 percent) and littering (47 percent). Unfortunately, the term plastic was often associated with the negative aspects, which are mainly visible at the end of use, says Mara Hancker, managing director of the Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V.. That's why plastic was not infrequently seen as an environmental enemy. "When in fact plastic packaging is sustainable and climate-friendly," Hancker continues. Based on the results of the survey, the IK wants to continue its educational work and open communication, he said. A differentiated view is urgently required, and blanket plastic bashing is inappropriate. Ingemar Bühler, Managing Director of PlasticsEurope Deutschland e. V., adds: "Many people do not understand why plastic is one of the most important materials for climate and environmental protection. One minute everyone is talking about the waste problem and now plastic is supposed to be the solution to save CO2, make power generation, house construction and mobility greener. That is not easy to understand." The industry's task, he said, is to answer the many questions and face the criticism, but also to explain why plastics are urgently needed for wind turbines, e-cars and recyclable consumer products.



  • (29.7.2021)
  • Pressrelease PlasticsEurope Germany, IK (29.7.2021)
  • Photo: © IK

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