Expanding Bioresource Insights with the Bioresource Information Tool (BRIT)
The extensive dataset has enabled the working group to carry out several evaluations as part of the SOILCOM project. One of the results has especially stirred up interest among stakeholders:
A Closer Look: Germany’s Stance on Plastic Waste Bags in Bio-Waste
This showcase covers the acceptance of various waste bag types used for bio-waste collection. Even certified biodegradable plastic bags often face rejection due to concerns about their incomplete biodegradability. Local waste collection companies decide on the use of waste bags for bio-waste bins, while waste disposal companies or treatment plant operators typically determine the acceptable bio-waste bin contents.
In 2022, Germany had 899 distinct collection areas, each with its unique responsible entity and collection system. Paper bags were accepted in 749 of these areas, representing 85.1% of the population. In contrast, biodegradable bags were accepted in just six areas (1.1% of the population), both types in 74 areas (6.0% of the population), and no bags were permitted in 10 areas (0.9% of the population). Not all areas provided information regarding the type of allowable bags. By the end of 2022, 38 areas (3.7% of the population) still lacked separate bio-waste collection, though plans were in place to implement it in 2023 in some of these areas.
Knowledge Sharing: Engaging the Public and Stakeholders
These findings have sparked interest among German stakeholders. The map was featured in an article in the magazine “Humuswirtschaft und Kompost Aktuell” published by the German compost certification agency, Bundesgütegemeinschaft Kompost (BGK). Additionally, it was presented to numerous waste management stakeholders at the annual conference on waste and resources: “34. Kasseler Abfall- und Ressourcenforum”.
Ensuring Continuity: Collaborating with European Compost Network (ECN)
As the SOILCOM project draws to a close, TUHH is committed to preserving and expanding the database on waste collection to continue informing the public. To ensure this, TUHH cooperates with the European Compost Network (ECN) Task Group on Separate Collection. The upcoming ECN annual meeting in June will include training sessions for task group members on using the tool. Any interested stakeholders who wish to use the tool or contribute to the database’s expansion and maintenance, please reach out to our working group at email@example.com.
Figure: Distribution of different bag types allowed for bio-waste collection across Germany, 2022