Dr. Markus Helftewes, Managing Director of Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD), is leaving the company on 1 May 2024, and the GreenDot Group is also announcing a restructuring.

Dr. Helftewes has been working for Der Grüne Punkt since 2013 and was appointed to the management board in 2016. He was responsible for the plastics recycling business unit until 2023 and played a key role in driving it forward. Most recently, Dr. Helftewes was technically responsible for the construction of the new sorting plant for lightweight packaging (LVP) in Enns, Austria, as well as the design of innovative processing plants for chemical recycling. On behalf of the Group’s management, CEO Laurent Auguste thanked Dr. Markus Helftewes for his extraordinary commitment, regretted his departure and wished him all the best for the future, both professionally and personally.

New focus of the GreenDot Group

In addition, the operator of the Green Dot, the GreenDot Group, announces a restructuring. “GreenDot is accelerating the development of its organization to achieve the objectives set by the PPWR, further industrialize its activities, facilitate business development and provide our customers and partners with a unique offer in the fields of EPR, mechanical and chemical recycling of plastics,” says Laurent Auguste, CEO of GreenDot. The new GreenDot organization will focus primarily on activities in the area of extended product responsibility (EPR), sorting and raw material processing as well as the recycling of plastics through both mechanical and chemical recycling.

The adoption of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) on April 24, 2024 in the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg accelerated the internal restructuring of the GreenDot Group.

“Chemical recycling as part of the solution”

“Germany should not only work towards high recycling rates, but also towards the use of recycled materials in packaging and other products. In addition, suitable calculation methods for the recyclate content, such as the mass balance proposed by the EU Commission based on the ‘fuel-exempt’ principle, should be agreed as soon as possible in order to secure investment. In Germany, we need clear legal recognition of chemical recycling as part of the solutions that contribute to meeting recycling quotas. We also need to make progress on the topic of design for recycling. Currently, packaging manufacturers do not receive any incentives in the form of participation fees based on the recycling-friendly design of their products,” says Auguste.

These are challenges, but also important opportunities. It is crucial to keep innovative technology in Germany in order to attract investment and create jobs. The PPWR and extended product responsibility would create considerable market demand for high-quality recyclates from mechanical and chemical recycling. Auguste continues: “However, the current economic situation and market conditions for recyclates are putting this industry at risk, even though investment in new plants and plastics recycling capacity should be made right now to meet the targets set by PPWR and at the same time make a significant contribution to decarbonizing the industry. While the EU regulations provide a clear direction calling for investment, we absolutely need to see a change in the current market dynamics or the necessary investments will not be made. All players in the value chain, including brand owners and petrochemical companies, must take their responsibility. The development of sustainable production capacities must be intensified now if we are to achieve the 2030 targets and build the circular economy of tomorrow in Europe.”

Picture above: Dr. Markus Helftewes, Managing Director of Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD), will leave the company on 1 May 2024. Photo: private

By fil