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Zentrum Technik und GesellschaftPuR - Mit Precycling zu mehr Ressourceneffizienz. Systemische Lösungen der Verpackungsvermeidung

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PuR - Precycling as a means of resource efficiency. Systemic solutions for packaging prevention




Head of Research

Scientific Staff

Project assistance

Student Assistent

  • Cassiopea Staudacher

Funded by





Mai 2019 – April 2024

Project Description

Germany produces the highest amount of packaging waste within Europe with a peak value of 18.2 million tons in 2015 (Schüler, 2018). The amount of plastic package, for example, has almost doubled since 1995. This increase in packaging waste is related to a change in food practices, e.g. consuming take away food or online ordering of food. It is also related to an increase of functions that consumer packages have to fulfill (e.g. portioning, longer durability of products, handling properties), which is a global trend in industrial countries. Packages must meet different needs of consumers and interests of actors along the whole value chain. To consider this complex constellation of actors and to avoid a shift of the problems along the value chain (e.g. producers, consumers, disposers), there is a need for systemic solutions for packaging prevention.

The aim is to identify the underlying constraints of packaging reduction within the different stages of the entire value chain- production, logistics, trade, usage, and disposal. This will aid the conceptualization and establishment of practices requiring reduced amounts of packaging, which eventually will lead to saving in natural resources.

The project analyses the interplay of individual factors, socio-technical dependence, political frameworks, and lifestyles by combining them systematically. On the basis of sociological, economic, psychological, political and material-technical analysis, the group develops the basis for innovative systemic precycling solutions. Precycling, as opposed to recycling, prevents the production of packaging waste in the first place. The aspects considered within the project are the influence of cultural time utilization patterns on the outside the house package consumption, the domestic package behavior within the consumer's everyday life, eco-design strategies for product-service systems and life-cycle assessment to account for packaging strategies. Furthermore, package reduction innovations will be tested together with selected practice partners. For this purpose, three case studies within the sectors food/drugstores, delivery service, and individual gastronomy, as well as transport packaging, will be put to test.


Süßbauer, E.; Wenzel, K.; Müller, A. (2020): Lebensmittelverpackungen im Alltag und was sich durch Corona ändert. Ausgewählte Ergebnisse einer qualitativen Studie mit Berliner Verbraucher*innen im Mai 2020. Arbeitspapier der Nachwuchsgruppe PuR, PuR Texte Nr. 1/2020.


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