Major trade groups initiative to engage with German public
Three of Germany’s top plastics industry associations have teamed up to form what they call a “unique alliance in the value chain”. With the joint initiative “Wir sind Kunststoff” (We are plastics), the German association of plastics converters GKV (Berlin;, PlasticsEurope Deutschland (Frankfurt; and the German engineering federation VDMA (Frankfurt; say they intend to present information and invite the general public to discuss the importance of plastics with the industry.

Ingemar Bühler, regional director at PlasticsEurope, said the initiative aims to drive the change in the plastics industry toward a circular economy, decarbonisation and sustainability. With around 3,500 companies, more 500,000 employees and an annual turnover of EUR 100 bn, the industry is one of the major economic sectors in Germany. In public discussions, however, it is amongst the most controversial. Along with the help of its own website (, the associations seek to “arouse enthusiasm for the material and promote understanding and acceptance,” Bühler said.

Details about the planned measures and specific target groups were not discussed during the launch of the initiative. Bühler described the budget available to the new campaign as in the low-to-mid six-digit euro range.

Thorsten Kühmann, MD of the VDMA’s Plastics and Rubber Machinery division, said he wants the campaign to be as lean and effective as possible, noting that for this reason, the members opted for lean structures with “new ideas and new minds” and have intentionally avoided saddling themselves with too much administration. Kühmann said the initiative differed explicitly from the “German Plastics Industry Federation” (WVK). This was set up more than 12 years ago by the same three associations and plastics recycling company BVK (see of 02.07.2009), but it disappeared again relatively quickly.

Mara Hancker, MD of the German packaging association IK (Bad Homburg;, said: “We are not conducting any image or advertising campaigns, but are seeking dialogue on an equal footing. We will be self-critical but also self-aware.”
16.09.2021 [248516-0]
Published on 16.09.2021
Kunststoffbranche: GKV, Plastics Europe und VDMA starten InitiativeGerman version of this article...

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