Facts and figures on circular economy in Germany

The most important facts on recycling at a glance

Climate protection, sustainability, resource efficiency. Keywords that we constantly come across and which no other industry represents better than the circular economy. Download here our poster and the graphics on the subject “Recycling in Germany”. The most important facts on recycling – from “Amount of waste produced” to “Zinc in mobile phones” – compiled just for you. The data is updated regularly.


About ALBA Group:

The ALBA Group, one of the leading recycling and environmental services companies as well as raw material providers worldwide, operates with its two brands – ALBA and Interseroh – within Germany, Europa and Asia. In 2018 its divisions generated an annual turnover of 2.1 billion Euros and employed a staff of more than 8,000 employees. In 2017 alone ALBA Group saved almost 4.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and at the same time about 30.2 million tonnes of primary raw materials through its recycling activities.

Inhalt der Pressemappe "Zahlen und Fakten der Kreislaufwirtschaft in Deutschland"

1. Overview „Recycling in Germany“

Overview of all diagrams and graphical representation on recycling in Germany (PDF)

2. Raw material imports in Germany

Source: BGR Resource Report Germany 2002, 2003; BGR Resource Report Germany 2018, November 2019 (PDF)

3. Amount of waste produced, including hazardous waste

Source: German Federal Statistical Office, 2021 (PDF)

4. More recyclables than residual waste

Source: German Federal Statistical Office, 2020 (PDF)

5. Export of lightweight packaging from Germany

Source: Umweltbundesamt [Federal Environment Agency], 2020

6. Use of recycled plastics in Germany

Source: Umweltbundesamt [Federal Environment Agency], 2020

7. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of the German waste management industry

Source: Umweltbundesamt [Federal Environment Agency], 2020

8. Consumption of plastic packaging and their recycling material quota

Source: Umweltbundesamt [Federal Environment Agency]/GVM [German Society for Packaging Market Research], 2019


9. Primary raw material savings through the use of recycled raw materials

Source: BMU [German Federal Ministry of the Environment], Deutsches Ressourceneffizienzprogramm ProgRess III
[German Resource Efficiency Program], 2020 (PDF)

10. Recycling quota

Source: German Federal Statistical Office [Statistisches Bundesamt], 2019 (PDF)

11. Recycling quota of the main waste streams

Source: German Federal Statistical Office [Statistisches Bundesamt], 2021 (PDF)

12. Worldwide oil consumption

Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2021; OECD Umweltausblick 2030, 2008

13. Number of passenger cars worldwide

Source: World's Automotive Group: "World Vehicles in Operation by Vehicle Type" (PDF); Umweltbundesamt [Federal Environment Agency], 2020

14. Finite nature of raw materials

Source: Upper Austrian Future Academy "Finiteness of fossil raw materials", 2013 (PDF)

15. 15. Proportion of the German lead market closed cycle economy on the world market

Source: German Federal Ministry of the Environment/Roland Berger Strategy Consultants: "GreenTech made in Germany 2018 - the environmental technology atlas for Germany", 2018 (PDF)

16. The mobile telephone as „raw material mine“

Source: BMU [German Federal Ministry of the Environment], Deutsches Ressourceneffizienzprogramm ProgRess III [German Resource Efficiency Program], 2020

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Download full press kit

Here you can download the whole press kit “Facts and figures on the closed-loop recycling in Germany” including the graphics mentioned below as zipped file.


If you use our material in publications, please mention “ALBA Group” as image source.