Zero Waste Berlin

Waste Prevention through Reuse

  • Project no.351555
  • Duration 04/2018 - 12/2018

Although the reuse of products involves numerous economic, ecologic and social potentials, they are far away from being realised when it comes to the vision of a circular economy. The reason is a lack of attractive supply of second-hand goods as well as a stable demand for them.

The principle "zero waste" is an elementary component of the Berlin coalition agreement (2016-2021). As a central point, it postulated the transformation of the Berlin-based waste industry into a modern circular economy. One central approach to realise this goal is to strengthen the reuse of second-hand goods. Instead of disposing them at the end of their first use phase, they are supposed to be passed on to a second user for further use phases. This helps to avoid waste and saves resources, which has an overall positive effect on the climate balance.

Against this background and on behalf of the Berliner Senate Department for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection (SenUVK), the Wuppertal Institute developed a comprehensive package of measures to strengthen the reuse of used products in Berlin within its study "Study on the Reuse of Products" (2017). As part of the follow-up project "Zero Waste Berlin – Waste prevention through reuse" the proposed measures are supposed to be implemented on the basis of pilot trials. Referring to this, the following measures are planned under the direction of the Research Unit Circular Economy of the Wuppertal Institute:

  • Development of a concept for a reuse network, bundling the existing offers with a focus on the development of a quality sign for used products (e.g. via umbrella brand and formulated quality standards).
  • Implementation of various pilot activities to collect reusable goods in order to evaluate the most effective collection route and to analyse the quantity and quality of available and collected used goods.
  • Analysis of a concept for a second-hand department in order to create an offer through which a relevant quantity of products can be reused.
  • Announcement of a competition for innovative ideas, which help to strengthen reuse in Berlin in order to involve various milieus in the process.
  • Founding a working group in which the central actors of the reuse scene are represented. After the end of the project, they are supposed to continue the strengthening of reuse in Berlin and contribute to a sustainable culture of reuse.

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