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U.S. packaging use up as Germany's declines

Since Germany began its Green Dot program in 1991 to control packaging waste, that country reports a decline of nearly 11% in packaging, while U.S.
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use of disposable consumer packaging jumped 13%. So says a new report on the German recycling program from Raymond Communications (Riverdale MD). Titled "Getting Green Dotted: The German Recycling Law Explained in Plain English" the report shows that every packaging material in Germany declined in use for the period from 1991 to '95. Meanwhile in the U.S. figures from Franklin Associates (Shawnee Mission KS) show increases in the same period except for steel packaging. The numbers could be somewhat skewed by the relative economies of the two countries. By '92 Germany was in the throes of a recession while the U.S. economy has grown. Still says publisher Michele Raymond the numbers refute the charge by critics of the German program that the "manufacturers' responsibility" system for recycling has failed to reduce packaging even though it forces manufacturers to pay some $2.3 billion in fees (see report on p. 92). However Raymond does admit that Germany "still has the most expensive and possibly inefficient package recycling system in the world." What irks U.S. industry even more Raymond says is that Germany is quietly promoting "producer responsibility" as it advises other governments in Asia and South and Central America. In fact German companies are challenging those in the U.S. in the $100 billion market for technologies in handling waste. The 53-page report is available free with a new subscription to "Recycling Laws International" published bi-monthly by Raymond or separately for $79 plus postage. Contents of the report is on the publisher's new web site: www.raymond.com.

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