An interview with Winfried Mühling, Marketing & Communications Director Pro Carton:

Whether it’s reusable or recyclable disposable solutions – it’s clear that both basically work. What is exciting, however, is how consumers accept them. We talked about this with Winfried Mühling, Marketing & Communications Director Pro Carton.

In May 2023, the industry association Pro Carton surveyed around 1,000 German consumers on their attitudes to environmental protection, current trends – and, of course, the crucial question: reusable or recyclable?

Neue Verpackung: Mr. Mühling, Germans have been no strangers to the idea of a deposit system since at least January 1, 2003 – when the so-called “can deposit” was introduced.  20 years later, we are again talking about introducing a deposit system, this time for reusable packaging, such as that used in fast food chains. What do our fellow citizens think about this prospect?

Winfried Mühling: The results of our survey were quite astonishing. Because, as you said, Germans are basically used to living with deposit systems. Nevertheless, we got the answer that two thirds of the population are very skeptical about a deposit system with compulsory deposits. 38 percent of consumers said that they would want to significantly reduce their consumption in such a case, and 28 percent said they would even stop consuming altogether. This means that there is definitely skepticism among the population when it comes to a mandatory deposit on reusable tableware, for example.