Reassessing the situation
EKO-PUNKT, REMONDIS’ Dual System, handed back its licence in 2014 as it considered the business risks to be too great. For a while, it had become impossible for companies genuinely committed to supporting the packaging recycling market to work properly due to the unfair competition that existed at the time. This was primarily being caused by a number of market players who were simply erasing volumes of packaging out of existence and exploiting legal loopholes.
Following the introduction and implementation of the new Packaging Law, Thomas Conzendorf, REMONDIS board member and managing director of EKO-PUNKT, believes that the conditions are now right for the company to return to the Dual System market. “Both the new statutory conditions and the work being carried out by the Central Agency’s Packaging Register have had a positive impact on the market. The call that we made back then for fair competition and for a central agency has been fulfilled. We’re delighted to be able to support our clients again and offer them the opportunity to hand over their packaging obligations to us.”
An experienced management team
This has all been made possible by the acquisition of the RK system this summer, which has a licence for the whole of Germany. EKO-PUNKT is being led by an experienced management team with Dr Florian Dühr as the company’s second managing director. “It is our aspiration to be a Dual System that offers its customers the best possible opportunities in the circular economy,” Dr Dühr explained. Based in Cologne, the company is looking to create long-standing business relationships.
Ecodesign and minimum recycled content are two challenges for the future – and not just in the field of packaging recycling.
EKO-PUNKT’s offering is primarily targeted at companies that are genuinely serious about being sustainable. The ambitious recycling rates set out in the Packaging Law and the implementation of minimum standards have put an end to price dumping. Insiders are well aware that recyclate is scarce and that demand will soon exceed supply. In this regard, too, REMONDIS’ Dual System has the perfect set up with the Group’s operational collection and recycling network and investment strength.
“Both the new statutory conditions and the work being carried out by the Central Agency’s Packaging Register have had a positive impact on the market. The call that we made back then for fair competition and for a central agency has been fulfilled. We’re delighted to be able to support our clients again and offer them the opportunity to hand over their packaging obligations to us.”
Thomas Conzendorf, REMONDIS Board Member & Managing Director of EKO-PUNKT
Promoting more sustainable packaging
EKO-PUNKT’s portfolio not only includes the core service of a Dual System, i.e. taking over a client’s packaging obligations. It can also, for example, check to see to what extent a client’s packaging can be recycled. Depending on the assignment, it can put forward proposals about making their packaging design more sustainable. A major task for the future will be to improve the ecodesign of packaging and efforts will have to be made by everyone involved in the supply chain – from the developers all the way through to the recyclers. This is the only way to close material life cycles. To make the very most of what is possible, EKO-PUNKT also offers its services to packaging manufacturers.
Designing sustainable, eco-friendly packaging is one of the biggest challenges they are having to face at the moment as there is often still a big divide between everyone’s desire to have greener packaging and what is technically and financially viable. At the moment, it is simply not possible to completely dispense with composite materials that cannot be separated from each other – in the field of food hygiene, for example. Collaborating with EKO-PUNKT as part of an experienced recycling company can help both manufacturers and businesses placing packaging onto the market to better understand how packaging can be designed so that it can be fully recycled when it reaches the end of its useful life. Working closely with its customers, EKO-PUNKT is pursuing its goal of recycling as many packaging materials as possible – and preferably all of them – so they can be returned to production cycles as raw materials again and again.
Approved as a Dual System since July 2020
The sales phase set for 2021 began back in September 2020 for EKO-PUNKT. Having been absent from the market for so long, the first question customers had was whether the company had the official approval needed. EKO-PUNKT has been able to answer this with a resounding yes. Having been issued a licence for all 16 German states in accordance with Section 18 of the Packaging Law on 13.07.2020, EKO-PUNKT’s Dual System has the right to conclude contracts to take over a client’s packaging obligations across the whole of the country. And so, as far as EKO-PUNKT is concerned, it’s back to the future of packaging recycling.
Image credits: image 1–3: © REMONDIS