The managing partner of Werner & Mertz GmbH is this year’s winner of the German Environmental Award of the German Federal Environmental Foundation. Reinhard Schneider will be one of the top speakers at the independent packaging 360° packaging congress, which will take place in Frankfurt on 28 and 29 November 2019.
With his company Werner & Mertz , Schneider (51) focuses on holistic sustainable production in the detergent and cleaning agents industry. He shares the award with soil scientist Prof. Dr Ingrid Kögel-Knabner (60) of the Technical University of Munich. They will each receive half of the EUR 500,000 2019 German Environmental Award of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). Announcing the award winners on 13 September, DBU General Secretary Alexander Bonde emphasised that they are “trendsetters in environmental protection who are providing future solutions for the enormous ecological challenges of the present. We need fundamental economic, political and technological change processes at all levels in order to achieve truly sustainable development.” The award will be presented by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on 27 October in Mannheim.
Continuing, Bonde noted that through Schneider’s “entrepreneurial all-round sustainability strategy and strong personal commitment” he has paved the way for environmental innovations to be established to a steadily advancing standard in an entire economic sector. Schneider, he said, has consistently enabled ecological products to gain majority support in a mass market, and lives sustainability in all entrepreneurial decisions, which has won him credibility with consumers. Bonde went on to illustrate how Schneider has broken new ground with numerous initiatives for environmental protection and sustainable development – for example, consistent use of plastic from household recycling for new packaging and environmentally and health-conscious printed labels. As Bonde put it, Schneider’s adoption of sustainability is “nationally and internationally evident”.
Pioneer of recycling management
Schneider, Bonde said, fights for energy-saving plastic recycling in a closed cycle. As a “pioneer of the circular economy”, he does not accept that only a small part of household plastic waste is recycled. Despite increased production costs with the recycled plastic, Schneider launched a recyclate initiative in 2012 with partners from industry, retail and NGOs, in which anyone could participate. The aim is to quickly increase the share of recycled products and establish them in the mass market. Around 293 million bottles made purely of recycled plastic have been produced in the recyclate bottle production facility he created in Mainz.
The award winner will be one of the top speakers at the independent packaging congress packaging 360°, which will take place on 28 and 29 November 2019 at the Hilton in Frankfurt. Schneider will be talking about "Living sustainability creates trust – with the Frog brand since 1986". More information and registration at https://www.packaging-360.com/events/