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April 20, 2023

What Makes Germany So Great at Recycling?

Out of all the countries in the world, Germany is the recycling champion, recycling an impressive 67.9% of its waste. Let's take a peak inside the country's recycling culture to find out a bit more about why this is.

Recycling helps give a second (or third or fourth...) life to things that would otherwise be thrown away. Did you know out of all countries in the world that Germany is the recycling meister, recycling about 67.9% of its waste? Meanwhile, the United States only recycles about 32.1% of its waste. Why is Germany better at recycling than the US? Let's explore.

The Law in Germany

In Germany, it's the law for all homes and businesses to sort their waste into different recycling bins. They must separate paper, plastic, glass, and organic waste or compost. This makes recycling more likely because it's required by law. In contrast, compost recycling bins are relatively rare in the US.

Government Support in Germany

The German government makes it easy for people to recycle. Recycling centers are all over the country, and most of them are free to use. The government also provides information about recycling to help people do it right.

The Pfand Deposit System in Germany

In Germany, people pay a deposit when they buy a bottle or can. When they return the container to a recycling center, they get their deposit back. This makes people more likely to recycle because they get money back for returning recyclables. While this system does exist in the US too, it's only present in a few states and the deposit is usually only about 5 cents per bottle. In Germany, the deposit is around 25 Euro cents, which can add up quickly!

Culture of Sustainability in Germany

German people care about the environment and want to protect it. They believe recycling can make the world a better place. Germans are proud of their recycling efforts and believe that they can make a difference.

Germany recycles more than all other countries because they have laws, government support, a deposit system, and a culture of sustainability. We can all learn a little from Germany's example, and try our hardest to recycle more and protect the environment better. Auf Wiedersehen!

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