Plastics: No common agenda on the horizon

New study published by Röchling Foundation and Beyond Philanthropy

POLYPROBLEM: Plastics and the Environment

Despite enormous public attention to the increasing environmental impact of plastic waste, a global agenda to solve the problem is not in sight. This is the critical finding of a policy paper we published jointly with the Röchling Foundation.

Not a day goes by without major media reports on plastics in the environment. Sometimes it's about spectacular ideas for cleaning the oceans, sometimes it's about new insights into microplastics, sometimes it's about actions for a plastic-reduced life. Our study shows that many of these initiatives launched by civil society, businesses, politics and academia do not only coexist next to each other. Some of the arguments and approaches also contradict each other.

POLYPROBLEM helps everyone who wants to have a holistic view of the plastic problem and derive their own strategic way forward.

Our publication compiles the most important challenges, solutions and actors in a compact overview and provides orientation for all those who would like to get involved in the field of plastics and the environment. Who is pursuing which goal? What are the different priorities? And above all: Is there any prospect of a global plan?

To answer these questions, we spoke with international experts from politics, civil society, business and academia. We have analysed the most important networks and their strategies and transparently compiled the sources of information relevant to the topic.


We would like to thank everyone who made this study possible:

  • The entire Röchling Foundation team, above all Uwe Amrhein, Annunziata Gräfin Hoensbroech and Julia Eberhardt for the excellent and intersting cooperation.
  • To all the experts who provided us with their time and knowledge in the field of plastics and the environment.

Project Realisation

Download Study

You can request free printed copies, also in larger numbers, at

The publication can also be downloaded from in German and English.

POLYPROBLEM: The Stakeholder Dialogue Plastics & Environment 

Date: March 27, 2019
Time: 09:00 h – 14:30 h
Location: Kalkscheune, Johannisstraße, 10117 Berlin

POLYPROBLEM - The Stakeholder Dialogue brings together leading actors from civil society, politics, research and industry to discuss together what collaborations we are making, so that the high attention paid to the plastic and environmental housekeeping leads to effective solutions.

Register Now for the Symposium


Julia Oestreich
Beyond Philanthropy
T +49-30-2408824-0
Anna Wolf
Senior Consultant
Beyond Philanthropy
T +49-30-2408824-0

Uwe Amrhein
Foundation Manager
Röchling Foundation