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Sigi Saubermacher

Explore the world
of resource management

Sigi Saubermacher

The vision of value creation cycles

Children are our future. It’s especially important that even the youngest of children develop good environmental awareness and learn how to properly separate their waste. Saubermacher supports parents, kindergartens, schools, etc. in this challenge and takes responsibility for people and the environment. You have any questions about our activities?

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Waste or reusable material? What do you think?

In in the ‘throwaway society’, everything comes in packaging. The solution is the ‘recycling society’.

The history of mankind is characterised by its steady development into a throwaway society. Today, nearly everything comes in packaging and we repair far less than ever before – such a waste! Not too long ago, waste was just tipped into dumps or incinerated. It hardly seems kind on the environment!

So, we had to look for a solution. We started to separate waste and recycle some of it. But recycling alone is not enough, and environmental protection needs to start much sooner. Waste can be avoided altogether, and much of it can be recycled and reused.

What is waste exactly?

Every day, we decide what will become waste. When we no longer need something, we throw it into the right waste container. Many of the things that we no longer need are particularly hazardous to the environment, and those things need proper treatment to protect the environment. The law says so too. In essence, anything that we no longer use can become waste, including our furniture, computers, clinical thermometers, etc.

Abfall vermeiden

Avoid waste.

You can throw your empty drinks cartons in the yellow bag or bin, but you can also use them for handicrafts. With your help, we collect and separate waste that can neither be avoided nor reused, which helps us to recycle as much as possible. A lot of what we call waste contains valuable materials, and reusing them helps to conserve the environment.

Waste quantities.

How much waste do we produce, and of what type? Each and every one of us produces around 500 kg of waste every year. And that’s just the waste that we produce at home – it doesn’t include the waste produced by manufacturing and industry.

Secret codes? Start the quest!

Have you ever wondered what all of those marks on packaging actually mean? The following are the recycling codes. They appear on drinks, food and tissue packaging, but also on things like plastic lunchboxes.

And they do not only appear on packaging and products made from plastic, but also paper, metal, textiles and glass. There are separate codes for composite materials, which are products or packaging made from two materials merged together.

The triangle with the three arrows represents the recycling loop. The number indicates the material. The number is important as it tells you how things can be recycled.

01 with the abbreviation ‘PET’ stands for the plastic polyethylene terephthalate.

PET can be used to produce polyester fibres for clothing, films, drinks bottles and food packaging.

02 with the abbreviation ‘HDPE’ stands for high-density polyethylene.

HDPE is used to produce plastic bottles and bags, waste bins, plastic pipes and even artificial wood.

03 with the abbreviation ‘PVC’ stands for the plastic polyvinyl chloride.

Window frames use this material for example, but PVC can also be used for chemicals and adhesive bottles.

04 with the abbreviation ‘LDPE’ stands for low-density polyethylene.

LDPE is used to produce plastic carrier bags, soap dispenser bottles and plastic tubes.

05 with the abbreviation ‘PP’ stands for polypropylene.

PP is often used in vehicles for things like bumpers and interior cladding. Food packaging is also made from PP.

06 with the abbreviation ‘PS’ stands for the polystyrene.

PS is used to make toys, plant pots and suitcases.

07 encompasses all other plastics, including materials such as polylactide (PLA), acrylic glass, polycarbonate and nylon, which are often used in packaging.

Perhaps you are also familiar with the mulch films that many people use in their gardens.

And these are just the recycling codes for plastic – there are nearly 100 such codes all in all.

Resource pyramid

Our resources are precious.

In Europe, the ‘waste pyramid’ shows us how we should handle our waste. ‘Avoid’ is right at the top. If something we have is no longer of use to us, it may be that someone else has a use for it. As soon as something lands in the waste bin, we attempt to recycle as much of it as possible so that new products can be made. If that’s no longer possible, we attempt to use the energy contained in the waste. Disposing of the waste really is a last resort. In the past, the waste pyramid was an actual pyramid. We believe that the uppermost levels of avoid, reuse and recycle must get the most attention – which is why we decided to turn the pyramid on its head.


It’s logical!

For waste to be turned into a reusable material, it needs to be separated and placed in the right bin or bag. It’s the only way of ensuring that an old PET drinks bottle can become a new one.

Sometimes it’s not easy to know which waste bin to use. For example, drinks cartons have a plastic film on the inside, so they cannot go in the waste paper bin and must be placed in the yellow light packaging bin or yellow bag. But many plastic products cannot go in the light packaging bin, such as plastic toys. After all, they’re not packaging. If toys contain batteries, they need to be taken to a collection centre as batteries are classed as hazardous waste.

As of January 2023, there will no longer be blue bins in Vienna, Lower Austria, Carinthia, Salzburg and parts of Upper Austria. All metal packaging is disposed of in the yellow bin/yellow bag, which means that from now on all packaging made of metal and aluminium such as beverage and food cans, crown caps, pet food cans, etc. can be disposed of in "the yellows".

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