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  • Major decline in the trade of unrefined metal waste
  • Exports to European countries dominant; Asian markets show limited engagement

Wiesbaden, Germany — According to the latest data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), Germany witnessed a notable shift in its waste management in 2023. The country exported 16.3 million tons of waste and scrap, valued at €11.4 billion, while importing 13.4 million tons, worth €14.6 billion.

This represents a significant change from the previous year, with exports decreasing by 2.8% in volume and 18.0% in value, and imports reducing by 15.3% in volume and 22.2% in value. The predominant trade was in unrefined metals like iron and steel, constituting 55.7% of exports and 34.0% of imports.

Germany’s waste management industry plays a critical role in the country’s environmental sustainability efforts. The decrease in waste trade volumes may reflect improved domestic recycling capabilities or shifts in global waste management trends. This development could have broader implications for global waste trade patterns and the recycling industry.

Interestingly, the majority of these waste exchanges occurred within Europe. A staggering 91.6% of Germany’s waste exports were to European countries, while 97.8% of its imports came from the same region. In contrast, only 7.6% of exports were to Asia, and a mere 0.8% of imports originated from there.

The trend highlights Germany’s ongoing commitment to sustainable waste management and recycling practices, especially in the handling of unrefined metal waste. This shift also underscores the increasing importance of European markets in Germany’s waste trade, while the engagement with Asian markets remains comparatively minimal.

By Silvia Orfeo

Silvia Orfeo is a Sr. Politics and Economics Reporter at Nobot.News

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