The plastic revolution

Concepts against the plastic flood

ZDF planet e (2019)

Our planet is becoming more and more plasticized. Artist Swaantje Güntzel shows how painfully plastic is shaping our ecosystem. However, production volumes are on the rise, with well over 1.1 billion tons of plastic expected to be produced in Europe alone by 2050. We need a plastic revolution. For entrepreneur Reinhard Schneider (‘Frosch’), recycling is the ideal solution. “Huge quantities of this material could be used much more sensibly to produce new packaging”. The company’s own packaging plant produces more than 100 million bottles a year from fully recycled plastic. Thomas Büsse from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research is working on plastic that doesn’t last for centuries, but only as long as it should. His plastic is not made from oil, but from corn, and films can degrade in just a few weeks, depending on the temperature and humidity. “Far too much of the plastic produced worldwide inevitably ends up in the environment.” If some of it simply turned back into soil instead of indestructible plastic particles in the sea, a lot would be gained. Germany still has the chance to become the market leader here. There is a lot of knowledge available about the problematic material plastic, great savings potential can be identified and consumers also seem willing to change.

Author: Kersten Schüßler, Lars Seefeld

camera: Ulf Behrens, Julien prause, Christopher rowe,

grigoris tsolakis

Editing: Rainer Speidel

Editor: Volker angres (ZDF)