Recycling of Agricultural Films
RKW and ERDE Initiative:Voluntary Commitment for 2022
Frankenthal (Germany), July 23, 2019 – As a founding member of the ERDE initiative (Erntekunststoffe Recycling Deutschland), RKW commits to collect and recycle 65 percent of all silage and stretch films sold on the German market by 2022. RKW and other participating companies officially submitted the voluntary commitment on June 26 during the parliamentary evening of the Plastics Processing Industry (Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie, IK). In addition, ERDE members also agreed to extend the return system to other agricultural plastics such as bale nets and asparagus films.
Together with other agricultural film manufacturers and distributors in the ERDE initiative, RKW is committed to collecting and recycling 65 percent of all silage and stretch films sold on the German market until December 31, 2022.
The voluntary commitment was presented in Berlin during a parliamentary evening of the plastics processing industry on June 26, 2019 to Dr. Regina Dube, Head of the Department Water Management, Resource Protection and Adaptation to Climate Change. Besides the ERDE initiative, signatories include IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen (German Association for Plastic Packaging and Films), Deutscher Raiffeisenverband (German Cooperatives’ Association), Bundesverband der Agrargewerblichen Wirtschaft (German Agricultural Trading Association) and Bundesverband Lohnunternehmen (German Agricultural Contractors’ Association). As a founding member of ERDE, RKW participated in the presentation of the commitment.
ERDE will review the effectiveness of the voluntary commitment by May 1, 2023 and define further measures and objectives in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
"As a value-based company, we have established sustainability as an integral part of our corporate policy and business mission. In order to advance our strategies and activities in this area, we are involved in various organizations, including the ERDE initiative," explained Thomas Gröner, Director Corporate R&D and Sustainability RKW Group. "It is of utmost importance to us that agricultural films which are no longer used are collected and recycled instead of remaining in the environment. This way, we live up to both our responsibility as a manufacturer and towards the environment. The voluntary commitment of the ERDE initiative is an important step towards further promoting the circular economy in the years to come."
RKW and the other ERDE members are also committed to collecting other agricultural plastics in the return and recovery system in future. These include bale nets, asparagus harvesting films, pressing yarns and mulch films. This recycling system was expanded to more than 400 collection points in 2018. ERDE collected 13,433 tons of agricultural films in 2018, enabling a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 19,486 tons of CO2.
ERDE was founded by RKW together with three other film manufacturers under the umbrella of the Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V. association and in cooperation with the disposal specialist RIGK.
The RKW Group
The RKW Group is an independent, family-owned company headquartered in Frankenthal, Germany and one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of excellent film solutions. RKW is the market leader in the areas of hygiene and agricultural films, films for the beverage industry and packaging for powdery goods. In addition, the company makes films and nonwovens for medical applications, for the chemical and converting industries as well as for the construction sector. RKW’s sustainable films enable its customers to improve the daily life of consumers all over the world.
In the fiscal year 2018, RKW generated total sales of EUR 878 million. About 3,000 employees process 367,000 tons of plastic materials at 20 locations around the world. True to the corporate slogan “When excellence matters”, the company, which was founded in 1957, offers outstanding performance in terms of quality and service. Respect and reliability are the core values of RKW and form the basis of the company’s success.
Stephan De Maria
Manager Communications RKW Group
67227 Frankenthal / Germany