Would you throw away the dishes every time you use them?

Plastic waste in the sea has reached dramatic proportions. Every packaging and every piece of plastic that ends up in the environment can last for centuries.

This topic page on the website of the German civil society alliance Exit Plastik provides an overview of the topic of reusable packaging. It contains information and links to further materials and campaigns by Exit Plastik Alliance and its members.

"Despite increased attention being paid to the sustainability and principles of circular economy in the European Union, there is a general lack of holistic and harmonised legislative approaches towards materials’ circularity and the critical aspects of their chemical safety. A more coherent EU policy on consumer safety issues is not only highly desirable, but human biomonitoring data on harmful chemicals detected in the entire EU population show that it is urgently needed. This ZWE policy briefing lays out proof and tried-and-test arguments towards toxic-free and future-proof packaging.

The German federal government has introduced the reusable offer requirement in order to comply with EU requirements for less single-use plastic packaging.

75% of marine litter collected in 2021 during citizen-led waste collections - the Ocean Initiatives - was food packaging and other single-use plastic products.

Well-managed pool systems for reusable packaging are a key instrument to make efficient and effective reuse systems work, and should be an essential accompanying tool to any reuse targets. This paper intends to provide guidance on this topic and propose policy proposals to take into account when creating EU legislation on reuse.

This White Paper for an Ocean free from Plastic Bottles, written to the intention of the European Union and its Member States, groups some, but not all, of Surfrider Foundation Europe’s recommendations to limit the number of plastic bottles ending up in the environment.

Reset Your Habits is calling for broad and deep societal and behavioural changes, where we modify our consumption and production habits in order to limit our ecological impact. This guide is intended, first and foremost, for public authorities - cities, towns, municipalities, local authorities as well as States - because they are key in implementing national and European policies throughout their regions and in tailoring them to their citizens' needs. Through this initiative they must set the example for
their inhabitants. This guide is also intended for private stakeholders and citizens who benefit from and promote these best practices.

Danes use large quantities of single-use packaging for takeaway food and beverages. One of the most striking examples concerns single-use coffee cups. A survey carried out for Oceana by KantarGallup estimates that Danes use around 130 million single use cups each year for coffee alone.

Single-use cups are one of the top ten items found littered in the Danish environment. They are typically made from plastic or plastic-lined cardboard and on average are used for around 15 minutes, after which they are discarded. Some of them end up polluting the environment, including the ocean. Oceana estimates that around 390,000 single-use coffee cups discarded in Denmark end up directly in the sea. Plastic pollution is a global challenge that affects the health and resilience of our ocean and has wide-ranging consequences for marine ecosystems and the species that live in them. Plastic can last hundreds of years in the marine environment and never fully disappears.

This website is a project of the Break Free From Plastic movement with support of Plastic Solutions Fund