German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety – BMU

Member since: 05/2019

Active in: WG Plastics, WG E-Waste, WG Framework conditions

German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety – BMU

The objective and task of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is to protect the fundamentals of our existence and of our environment and health as well as to maintain a liveable and sustainably managed earth. Thanks to a multitude of legal regulations, programmes and support instruments, exemplary successes have already been achieved in all areas of environmental policy. Nonetheless, there are still challenges on the BMU’s agenda that require further efforts. For this, the BMU relies on close cooperation with civil society, economic actors, science and foreign partners. The circular economy is a key theme in international environmental policy as it holds up a mirror to production and consumer habits. All economic activity leads to the production of waste,which must be managed in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

As a co-initiator of the PREVENT Waste Alliance, the BMU sees its collaboration with its partners as an important building block in a sustainable circular economy policy: as the ministry responsible for the circular economy, it seeks to collaborate with the waste disposal industry, science, environmental groups and foreign partners. As Germany is seen as exemplary when it comes to setting up a modern circular economy, PREVENT offers another opportunity to disseminate this technology and expertise globally, in addition to various bilateral and multilateral contacts. As we know, environmental pollution knows no borders, which means that we need to meet our responsibility through international engagement.

In many countries, there is a desire to reduce waste quantities, to avoid and reduce the use of pollutants as well as the accumulation of pollutants in products to permit resource-saving waste management. Closing material cycles to a high standard is an important area of activity, in order to preserve resources sustainably and to protect the environment from pollutants. The legal basis for this is provided for by the German Waste Law. Thanks to corresponding standards and the allocation of duties, in particular because of polluter-related financing (fees, charges, product responsibility) a comprehensive circular economy has been created which is in line with the state-of-the-art in technology. The other existing and new challenges can be mastered thanks to the following tried-and-tested principles:
• Avoid superfluous products and waste
• Design products in a more environmentally-friendly way
• Increase recycling, use more recycled products
• Avoid hazardous materials in recycling materials
• Only allow depositing of reaction-free, pre-treated waste
• Promote international commitment to the avoidance of littering and to sustainable handling of waste materials