Sebastian Bayer, Director of Marketing and Procurement at the drugstore giant dm, talks about the ambitious goals his company is pursuing with the Recyclate Forum.
Mr. Bayer, will trading in Germany develop a flywheel effect in the plastics cycle?
We initiated the Recyclate Forum because, as a retailer, we occupy a key position in a functioning raw materials cycle. On the one hand, we can reach millions of customers and use information to create awareness of the materials cycle. On the other hand, we work together with numerous manufacturers who face the challenge of processing recycled materials accordingly.
Is it conceivable that the proportion of recycled materials and recyclable design will in future become a prerequisite for product listing in the trade?
Due to the Packaging Act, which will come into force in January and in which the recycling quotas for plastic packaging will be increased, it is quite possible that the trend will move in this direction. Until then it will not be a prerequisite. However, we at dm would like to make products with a high proportion of recycled materials particularly visible.
Can retailers use their purchasing power to support product manufacturers in procuring recycled materials at lower prices?
A higher level of consumer awareness of the interrelationships in the circular-flow economy can help to ensure that more recyclable materials flow into the cycle. As a result, the supply of recycled materials will increase and prices will drop.
How will the Recyclates Forum promote greater public awareness? What is planned in the media and how will this be financed?
The most important thing for us is the direct dialogue with customers – whether in stationary trading or via digital channels. Together with our partners we will reach many people in this way. By means of information materials and proposals for practical solutions, we can show customers what influence they have on the reusable material cycle.
What concrete results did your Recyclate Forum have on Monday this week?
At our meeting, the first to take place among the extended group of participants, we brought together the latest developments from the various areas and exchanged information, above all about customer communication. As we want to increase our customers’ awareness of the recycling cycle, we are focusing on recyclates from plastic waste in the private sector.