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Waste separation works

Have you heard of the initative “Waste separation works”? All dual systems in Germany are members of this initiative.

Initiative "Waste Separation works"

Why this initiative exists

“Waste separation works” is an initiative of all ten dual systems in Germany. The dual systems operate based on Germany’s packaging act. The aim of the packaging act is to prevent or reduce the impact of packaging waste on the environment. The initiative informs private end consumers in Germany about the meaning and purpose of the separate collection of packaging waste. It provides information at regular intervals and (supra-)regionally on how waste separation works properly.

The focus is on the transition from a waste economy to a circular economy and the associated importance of recycling.

Only those consumers who separate waste correctly can protect the climate, save resources and help protect our environment. In this way, valuable raw materials from packaging are kept in the material cycle. This benefits people, animals and plants.

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How to separate waste correctly

  • Yellow bag / yellow bin: it is only for lightweight packaging, like plastics, aluminium, ferrous metals or composite packaging
  • Paper bin: it is for all packaging made of paper, cardboard or carton without food residue
  • Glass containers: glass packaging sorted by colour white, brown and green
  • Grey / black bin: residual waste should be disposed in the grey residual waste bin
  • Brown bin: organic waste should be disposed in the brown bin

Thanks to the initiative’s intensive public work, the dual systems already recycled 5.7 million tons of packaging waste in 2022. That is almost 90 percent of all packaging involved in the dual systems – and the trend is rising. In its well-known eco-study, the Öko-Institut calculated that the dual systems save 1.95 million tons of CO2 equivalents every year by recycling glass, paper and lightweight packaging.


Informationsmaterial zum DownloadLogo Mülltrennung wirkt


For further information on the initiative, please visit the website waste separation works. In addition to information, you can also download information material.

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