Hamburg invents solutions to the threat posed by plastic

Start-ups are developing new approaches to plastic recycling and sustainable alternatives

What was once light, versatile and a hit when it was invented a hundred years ago, plastic, albeit cheap, has now become a global threat and has a high price for people and nature. Germany generated 6.28 million tons of plastic waste in 2019. If plastic waste is not disposed of properly, it often ends up in seas and rivers. Once there, a plastic bag can take ten to 20 years to decompose, while a PET bottle takes 450 years to decompose and sink as microplastic to the ocean floor. More and more founders in Hamburg are finding clever ways to counteract this plague.

Ban on single-use plastic

From July 3, 2021, the EU banned many single-use plastic products such as drinking straws, stirrers, balloon sticks and single-use dishes made from conventional plastic and bioplastics. These to-go cups and disposable styrofoam containers are no longer allowed to be manufactured and marketed in the EU.

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