Sustainable Engineering

Precycling for more resource efficiency - systemic solutions to avoid packaging (PuR)

Project description

No country in Europe generates more packaging waste than Germany. In 2016 a peak value of 18.2 million tons was reached. Plastic packaging alone has almost doubled since 1995. The cooperation project between the TU Berlin and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy gGmbH wants to change this: The PuR junior research group wants to find out why so much packaging waste is created and develop suitable strategies to avoid it. “PuR” stands for “Mit Precycling zu mehr Ressourceneffizienz: Systemische Lösungen der Verpackungsvermeidung.”

The enormous increase in packaging is mostly due to fact that it has to fulfill several functions at once, and the demands continue to increase. Packaging no longer only serves to protect the goods, but also for better dosing, storage and handling. This requires packaging to be viewed as complex systems in which the interests of manufacturers, logisticians, retailers, consumers, and waste disposal companies are “packaged” and which lead to the current packaging-intensive production and consumption patterns.

The PuR junior research group therefore studies the entire value chain – from product idea to manufacture and disposal – to identify starting points to avoiding packaging (precycling). In contrast to recycling, there is no packaging waste at all in precycling. This is intended to conserve resources and relieve the burden on the environment.

Client: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Duration 06/2019 – 05/2024

Project partners:

  • Technische Universität Berlin
  • Center for technology and society
  • Department of Sustainable Engineering
  • Specialized in circular economy and recycling technologies.
  • Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy

Topics: Resource efficiency, waste avoidance

More information:
Project homepage:

M.Sc. Justus Caspers
Tel: +49 (0)30 314-28515
E-mail: j.caspers(at)
PuR - Mit Precycling zu mehr Ressourcen­effizienz - Systemische
Lösungen der Verpackungs­vermeidung