The discussion about plastic waste is anything but new for German municipalities. In fact, as early as the 1980s, numerous German municipalities were experimenting with plastic waste prevention regulations and waste prevention in general. A further impetus for plastic waste prevention was provided in the early 1990s with the discussions on the introduction of a nationwide packaging ordinance.
In order to counteract the problem of the constantly growing volume of packaging in Germany (Schüler, 2019), the Federal Government has promoted the strategy of waste avoidance over other strategies such as reuse, recycling and recovery or disposal strategies of packaging waste in the waste hierarchy of the Circular Economy Act.
The amount of plastic waste found at and in German rivers is still unexplored in many places. Following campaigns in 2016, 2017 and 2018, young people aged 10 to 16 are once again called upon to support science and go on expeditions as "plastic pirates" in 2019. The next sampling period will take place from 1 May to 30 June 2019.