IFAT | In your opinion, what is the biggest hurdle on the way to a genuine circular economy?
Kurth | To achieve a fully functioning circular economy, we must close material cycles. And for this to succeed, we must promote the demand for recycling raw materials. Often, raw materials from primary sources are cheaper, making it more difficult to sell recycled materials. That's why we need to boost the recyclate market. Voluntary agreements are not enough, we need a binding minimum quota of recyclates in new products. To achieve a circular economy that is worth this name we therefore must also call on the producers.
IFAT | How do you assess the Green Deal by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen?
Kurth | With the Green Deal, Europe is assuming a leading role in climate protection, serving as example for the countries. One example: the continent is planned to be climate-neutral by 2050, with 50 percent of the CO2 emission savings coming from the recycling industry. An ambitious plan, which is also exemplary for Germany with regard to its own climate protection package and encourages improvement.
IFAT | What expectations do you have of the upcoming IFAT 2020?
Kurth | As a conceptual sponsor of IFAT, the BDE is happy to be there again with its own emphases, for example with a special area on plastics. Digitalization and the advancement of the waste disposal industry into a genuine circular economy are topics that I consider to be part of this world-leading trade fair.