CHOICE membership


Card board packaging on almost all purchases, especially white goods.
I have heard that in Germany it is the responsibility of the retailer to take back packaging to return to the manufacturer for recycling. Is this so?
While we are a much larger country with smaller sales over greater distances involved would some similar law be practical and suitable here.


Sort of, but, it is worth reading: (this needs your browser set to translate German to English).

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There is a language selection of German, English, and Italian at the top right of that page :slight_smile:


I have been very recently told by someone from Germany that they were agast at the huge waste of resources the packaging goods are delivered with here.

In Germany they are very environmentally conscious and although goods arrive ‘naked’ they arrive unscratched, and undented, because due care is taken. To Germans it is inconceivable that goods would be delivered damaged.


Not in every sector.

We have good friends that are German (in Australia studying at the moment) and run a German business which sells books (which are paper models). They have indicated that they would like to be able to sell their books without wrappings, but in Germany it is believed that unwrapped/unsealed books are used or have been pursued by someone else…diminishing their ‘value’. It is a tradition they are trying to break (they have moved successfully to recycled materials etc) but have faced stiff challenges from their German customers to change.

And, what the German person believes may not be reality:


Australian waste estimates.

Note that Agriculture is not specifically singled out/mentioned!

There is a wealth of interesting content from the ABS.
Some examples,

  • Approx 4 million tonnes of waste is exported out of the annual total of 76 Mt created each year.
  • Australia’s waste industry is worth $5 billion annually and surprise, it adds 0.3% to GDP.
  • Agriculture annually $507M spends nearly as much on waste management as households $595M.
  • Agriculture creates annually 27 tonnes of waste for every $1M of income.
  • Aussie households generate 12.6 Mt of waste annually or approx 1.2 tonnes per household.


The relationship between waste and consumers is similar to that of green house gas emissions and consumers. Consumers only have direct control over one portion of a much larger challenge. Our elected leaders are the only ones who have the ability to control the outcomes.