In addition to everyday objects made of plastic, mailboxes are often overflowing with plastic: advertising leaflets wrapped in foil, recently distributed by the german postal service. What to do with it?
"I rub off the film, put it in the yellow bag, and throw the rest in the paper trash, says detlef krack. As a chimney sweep, he already lives the environmental idea professionally and already carries out these manual operations automatically. He can also imagine that many of these advertising media wrapped in foil are simply thrown into the mull, says krack.
"Unspeakable flood of plastic
This is also the opinion of heinrich kattenbeck, district chairman of the federation for nature conservation forchheim. Complaints about the advertising leaflets sent out in this way have not yet been received by the bund naturschutz. Kattenbeck sees this as part of the already "unspeakable flood of plastic" reasons. "That goes down. Most people don't even notice it anymore," he says, he says, also in view of the masses of waste products, where one does not need it at all.
Even the waste management department of the forchheim district office is unable to judge whether these brochures and their film are being thrown away. The trash cans are not searched and the paper garbage cans are emptied by the company veolia. It does not seem to be striking, otherwise the company veolia would have reported it, susanne fiebiger, responsible officer at the district administration office, suspects. Exact data on the annual disposed of plastic gauze can not be made. Plastic belongs in the yellow bag. "There are also alu. Lightweight packaging, composite packaging and sheet metal included. Cds will be collected separately", fiebinger explains.
Diapers in the yellow sack
Forchheim is on the national average in terms of waste products that do not belong in the yellow sack. 30 percent (by weight) of waste, such as diapers, ends up in the yellow sack, even though it certainly doesn't belong there. But the disposal itself has also changed. "In the past, people knew exactly where the packaging went. Now you have no influence on who gets the application to collect or sort and what is then done with it", fiebiger, the woman, tells us that forchheim's waste goes to five to six different sorting facilities. Market economy or deliberate competition is the name of the game. And plastic is cheaper. Whether it's the yogurt in the plastic cup instead of the deposit jars, or the plastic bag in the supermarket, which often costs only a tenth of the price of a plastic bag. Changing purchasing behavior, advisor heinrich kattenbeck.
Foil sometimes difficult to open
"Why does a catalog have to be wrapped in foil?? What chemicals are in it? Paper alone is much handier than having a package around. This makes opening more difficult. Older people in particular can find it difficult to open the brochures, which are often tightly wrapped in plastic film", he says.
But paper rots. The nature conservation alliance warns against plastic anyway. The phthalates (plasticizers) and bisphenol A they contain are chemicals that are found in the blood of almost every living being, act like hormones and thus upset the hormone system. Besides allergies, it also causes other significant health problems, especially in young children.
Dotting the i
There is no mention of the long term damage yet. In principle, krack also sees little point in plastic packaging. But even when you're shopping, you need a horn?", says the man from kirchehrenbach, who is sometimes surprised when he sees the people with plastic bags when they go shopping. The fact that advertising is now also distributed in foil is just the icing on the cake.
Deutsche post sees the two sides of the coin very clearly. "Purchasing up to date" as a dispatch or delivery of infopost is a service of the german post office. But: "we have already reduced the use of plastic by 25 percent", says erwin nier, press officer of deutsche post for the upper franconia area. By evaporating polyethylene (PE) and making it durable through a certain treatment, the same effect of secured mailing could be achieved.
Five to six leaflets of different formats
"At 'einkauf aktuell', too, research and our technicians are working to produce less plastic", explains nier, who is certainly sensitized to the need to consider the packaging of a broadcast. "We offer pack sets, which are boxes that can be used several times and are easy to handle", he gives an example of gauze avoidance where it is possible. For every single. But "shopping up to date consists of five to six sheets of different formats, which is why they are wrapped in foil. "If each of these five to six brochures is handed out by a different driver, the environmental damage is certainly greater", argues the press spokesman. And on the other hand, it is a financial factor if the mail carrier first sorts these five or six different advertising leaflets into one pack before each delivery. "Human labor is the most expensive good. We have fully paid employees, who work according to the collective wage agreement, at an hourly wage of 11.30 euros. It's different when schoolchildren or students put brochures in the mailbox for a supermarket chain", says nier.
In the end, this is also how detlef krack sees the appeal to consumers, who often have to travel extra kilometers because of an offer in the grocery stores.
Those who don't want to do without advertising in their mailboxes will continue to receive foil-wrapped advertising carriers. But the plastic gauze does not fit in the mailbox for a long time. "If I eat a fish out of a can and there are plastic bits in the fish, I think it's good that the EU wants to intervene here, says krack about the thoughtless disposal of this non-decomposable material.
"With the problem of plastics, a lot of it is up to people how they deal with it", criticizes simone rieb from the "my plastics" training initiative. "There is also the possibility of reusing plastic", says rieb. This is one of the reasons why the bund naturschutz is constantly putting forward proposals and calling for textile shopping bags or more conscious shopping.
There are a few examples to mention: in the past, people simply wrapped some foods in newspaper, also to keep them fresh longer. Plastic bottles did not have to be shredded when more glass bottles were used. Instead of a variety of advertising, there should be a variety of products in the place again. The shrink-wrapped advertisements will be replaced and perhaps a rethinking of plastic avoidance will take place.