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New study proves: Recycling makes a significant contribution to sustainable business

The Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT analyzed the environmental effects of recycling for Interzero in the new study “resources SAVED by recycling” for 2022.

The result: Interzero and its customers save around 1 million tons of greenhouse gases and 8.7 million tons of primary resources. The consistent recycling of materials in a circular economy thus contributes considerably to climate protection and at the same time makes Germany and Europe fit for the future as a place to live and do business.

© Interzero

Fraunhofer UMSICHT annually investigates for Interzero – already since 2008 – which effects circular solutions have on the environment and economy. As an expert for life cycle assessments and the circular economy, the research institute provides strategic decision-making bases for sustainable action. “Now in its fifteenth year, the study succeeds in quantifying the environmental benefits of recycling and making them tangible. This is particularly important in the future to sensitize both actors in industry and consumers to climate protection and the sustainable use of our raw materials,” says Dr. Markus Hiebel, Head of Department Sustainability and Participation, Fraunhofer UMSICHT.

Interzero is one of the leading service providers around the closure of product, material and logistics loops as well as innovation leader in plastics recycling with the largest sorting capacity in Europe. The “resources SAVED by recycling” study published today shows that Interzero, in collaboration with its customers, recycled a total of 2.1 million tons of recyclable materials in 2022. As a result, approximately one million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were avoided. This is equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of over 100,000 four-person households for heating and electricity. At the same time, around 8.7 million tons of primary resources were saved that did not have to be taken from nature.

Goal: Transformation to a true circular economy

The basis for the comprehensive life cycle assessment, which is prepared by Fraunhofer UMSICHT, is a detailed comparison of primary production and recycling – including all necessary process steps. The standardized methodology makes it possible to precisely quantify the savings of resources and greenhouse gas emissions.

“In the current discussion about climate protection measures, the recycling of raw materials often gets short shrift,” says Sebastiaan Krol, CEO of Interzero Circular Solutions. “With our study, we want to show that recycling is an equally effective and necessary factor in reducing climate-damaging emissions and securing valuable raw materials. We need the transformation to a true circular economy to preserve the quality of life on our planet. Today, this is the overriding shared task that everyone has.”


Fraunhofer UMSICHT 2023

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