To Top

Interzero publishes latest ‘resources SAVED by recycling’ study | The evidence is clear: going circular is good for the environment

+++ According to the data from the 2021 study, Interzero’s circular loop solutions have cut 1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions while saving 12.5 million tonnes of primary resources

+++ Costs of EUR 199 million for climate-related environmental damage have been avoided

+++ Interzero presents data from the new study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT at K 2022, the trade fair for plastics and rubber

Berlin/Cologne. Every year, Interzero, as Europe’s leading circular economy services provider, asks itself the same question: what kinds of ecological damage do our customer solutions actually avoid, and how does this produce potential savings for society? 

The ‘resources SAVED by recycling’ study published today by Fraunhofer UMSICHT again provides proof of a clearly positive effect. In 2021, Interzero achieved some significant environmental milestones.  

By managing a total of 1.8 million tonnes of materials in the loop, Interzero and its customers were able to save around 12.5 million tonnes of primary resources in 2021, while also cutting greenhouse gas emissions by around 1 million tonnes. Without Interzero’s efforts, costs for climate-related environmental damage would have totalled EUR 199 million (using cost accounting methods from the German Federal Environment Agency). 

The primary resources saved this year would weigh as much as 5,227 fully grown sequoia trees.  

Interzero Chairman and Shareholder Dr Axel Schweitzer: “Heat, drought, flooding, disease and hunger – the effects of climate change and the overexploitation of the natural environment are now increasingly felt worldwide. Every year, we use this study to assess the results of the efforts we make together with our customers and partners. In publishing the study, however, we also want to underline the effectiveness of closed-cycle resource management as an ecological and economic tool for countering humanity’s disastrous handling of the environment and climate change. The circular economy offers huge opportunities that we should not lose sight of, especially given the tense situation in Europe and the associated rise in energy prices.”

Full details of the current study will be announced at the K 2022 fair, which runs from 19 to 26 October in Düsseldorf. At this event, the world’s largest trade fair for plastics and rubber, experts from Interzero Plastics Recycling will be presenting innovative technologies and services for plastics recycling as well as explaining the environmental benefits of recycling versus primary production. According to calculations made by Fraunhofer Institute researchers, the use of Interzero’s recycled plastic ‘Procyclen’ cuts climate-damaging emissions by 56 percent compared to the use of primary plastics made from crude oil.

For many years now, Interzero has worked with Fraunhofer UMSICHT to produce scientific assessments of the savings made by its own closed-loop activities.  

The company has also based a recent communications campaign on the calculations made by the Fraunhofer experts. Entitled ‘One World. Zero Waste. Let’s #MoveTheDate’, Interzero is turning the spotlight onto conserving natural resources. According to the methods used by the Global Footprint Network, Interzero gives the planet 10x more regenerative capacity back for one euro’s worth of value creation than the global community takes away for that same euro. Expressed in terms of time, Interzero ‘turns the clock back’ on Earth Overshoot Day – already reached on 28 July in 2022 – by 4 minutes and 20 seconds, or by 2 hours and 20 minutes when calculated in terms of Germany alone.  

Dr Axel Schweitzer: “While these figures of hours and minutes may seem trivial at first glance, they demonstrate that even the business practices of a mid-sized company like Interzero can make a difference globally, and they motivate us to continue our work in the future. We want to encourage everyone in our immediate network to contribute to the sustainable, closed-loop economy and help bring to a halt the increasing exploitation of our planet.”  

For further information about the study, visit: and watch our video




  • Interzero
  • Interseroh+
  • Press releases

About Interzero:

Interzero is one of the leading service providers in the field of closing product, material and logistics loops as well as innovation leader in plastics recycling with the largest sorting capacity in Europe. Under the guiding principle of “zero waste solutions”, the company supports over 50,000 customers throughout Europe in the responsible handling of recyclable materials, thus helping them to improve their own sustainability performance and conserve primary resources.

With about 2,000 employees, the company achieves a turnover of over one billion euros (2021). According to Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Interzero’s recycling activities could save one million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and more than 8.7 million tonnes of primary raw materials in 2022 alone. As a pioneer in the circular economy, Interzero is winner of the German Sustainability Award as well as the related special award in the “Resources” transformation field for 2024.

Further information can be found at



The online magazine on recycling and the circular economy