What is the Recyclate Initiative?


The Recyclate Initiative is a cooperative effort involving partners from different industries who strongly encourage effective recycling. The shared goal is to develop sustainable material cycles which will use recyclable materials from the Yellow Bag.

Cross-industry cooperation was encouraged in 2012 by the Recyclate Initiative, which bundles the know-how of several partners who share the goal of upcycling plastic from the previously untapped source of the Yellow Bag collection system. Their efforts are aimed at establishing a sustainable material cycle which conserves resources, protects the environment and proves economical in the long term. Partners in the Recyclate Initiative are FROSCH, the trusted brand from Erdal-Rex GmbH in Mainz, a subsidiary of Werner & Mertz GmbH, the retailing concern REWE, Green Dot, Unisensor Sensorsysteme GmbH, the packaging manufacturer ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG and NABU, Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union.

Reinhard Schneider, CEO of Werner & Mertz and the initiator of the Recyclate Initiative, set up the development from the start as an "open innovation" project. Everyone can – and should – get involved in order to promote this sensible investment in the future even beyond one's own industry.

The Recyclate Initiative partners are developing jointly an improved, ultra-modern recycling process with which high-quality PET recyclates can be obtained from the Yellow Bag and theoretically reused over and over without end. Their cooperative efforts have already led to the manufacture of more than 50 million transparent PET bottles for FROSCH products.

The initiative's success has been honored with several prizes. In 2014 they included the special prize in the German Packaging Award, Federal Ecodesign Award and the ECR Award. The public recognition pays tribute to the initiative's great benefits and underscores its role as a beacon on the international stage.  

In collaboration with the Green Dot and the development department at ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH, Werner & Mertz became the first in the world to use 100 percent PE waste from the Yellow Bag in the manufacture of new packaging. Previously, no one had obtained translucent and white material of this quality from the collection system. Conventional PE recyclates do not meet the initiative's quality specifications. Even bottles with handles, whose stability requirements are tough, can now be made of 100 percent recyclates.

With this achievement the initiative once again proved to be a pioneer in eco effectiveness. In September 2016 its work was rewarded with the German Packaging Award in the sustainability category.