Resource policy instrument mix to avoid packaging waste

Although consumers are more aware of the need to reduce packaging waste and more action is being taken at political and economic levels, significant progress has not been made in reducing packaging waste. In recent years, packaging waste even increased in Germany.

The reasons for this include, among other things, changing patterns of life and consumption and a change in socio-demographic structures. One of the main political causes is the lack of a consistent policy framework that focuses on resource-efficient waste prevention. Furthermore, from a resource policy point of view, a reduction in packaging, for example in the food retailing sector, can lead to an increased emergence of food waste and thus prevent the goal of resource efficiency. This should be taken into account when selecting suitable policy instruments.

Therefore, this research field will analyze policy instruments such as voluntary undertakings by companies, taxes and incentives, laws and prohibitions or information measures. The central questions of this research project are:

  • What does a promising mix of instruments for the resource-efficient prevention of packaging waste in Germany look like?
  • How should the political framework conditions be shaped to promote the use of a corresponding mix of instruments?

In order to answer these questions, a policy analysis is carried out, experts from the fields of packaging, waste prevention and politics are interviewed and international case studies are conducted. Subsequently, the identified instruments are evaluated using a multi-criteria analysis.

Jennifer Schinkel, M.A.
Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie gGmbH

Döppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal


+49 (0)202 2492-197