How are materials separated from garbage during recycling

Packaging is not rubbish: Separate recyclables correctly

Three basic materials

Glass belongs in the container, paper in the paper bin (if available, otherwise in a waste paper container) and all other packaging may be in the yellow sack, the yellow bin or the recycling bin, if one is available on site. Packaging only needs to be spoon-clean or without any residue - no packaging has to be rinsed out.


The separation of the colors of white and amber glass is very important so that glass bottles and glasses of the same color can be produced from them again. Green glass can be mixed with other colors and recycled. That means, blue or other glass colors can also be used in the green
Container. Lids and screw caps do not have to be removed before throwing into the container.

Service packaging

This refers to coffee-to-go cups, styrofoam boxes from the snack bar, cheese paper and so on. This packaging can be put in the yellow sack or the yellow bin. Bun bags - with or without foil - belong in the waste paper.

Three-component container

Yoghurt cups, for example, which are made of plastic cups with a paper jacket and aluminum lid, require a little more effort to dispose of so that all materials can be completely recycled. The paper jacket belongs in the waste paper. The aluminum lid must be removed from the plastic cup. Both go separately to the yellow sack or bin.

Composite materials

If you are unsure whether paper packaging is made of different materials, you should tear the material slowly. Then you can see whether there is still a plastic layer on the paper. With plastic, the yellow bin is the right collecting station, otherwise the paper wrapping should be in the paper bin.

After the separation

Used glass is the most important raw material for the glass industry. Glass can always be 100 percent recycled if it ends up properly sorted in the waste glass container. Waste paper is also the most important raw material for the German paper industry, and it can be reprocessed into recycled paper at least six to seven times. This saves wood, water and chemicals in production.

Plastics can be processed into new products or packaging, especially if they are separated according to type in the sorting systems. This saves oil. Particularly when it comes to plastics recycling, by restricting the number of plastics to a limited number of plastics, manufacturers can help ensure that more can be recycled and not incinerated. This coincides with the spirit and purpose of the new packaging law.