RIGK’s work began over 25 years ago, when huge landfill sites formed part of the landscape in Germany – and today continues in an age in which the concept of plastic recycling and recycling products has finally established itself in people’s minds. Find out which successes we have achieved!
In 1991, the Packaging Ordinance was approved: for the first time, the industry was obligated to take back packaging and to participate in recycling. In industry and commerce, the producers and processors of plastics decided to found the “Gesellschaft zur Rückführung industrieller und gewerblicher Kunststoffverpackungen mbH”( Society for the recovery of industrial and commercial plastic packaging) – or RIGK for short.
At the end of 1992, it all got started: RIGK – at the time still based in the Bad Homburg location – commenced their operative work with the RIGK-SYSTEM for packaging of non-hazardous substances. Further recovery systems followed– and, after the industry and commerce sectors, the agricultural sector also affiliated themselves with the services provided by the RIGK.
In the early years, RIGK mainly performed persuasive efforts: the license fees were relatively high at the time compared to today; the infrastructure of collection points and recycling plants was still poor, and the returned quantities of packaging were low. Yet as the technologies connected with plastic recycling developed, packaging materials became more widely available, and the acceptance for recycling grew, as well as the number of users and the collection point network – and the license prices dropped. The recovery systems also became increasingly more diverse, and soon comprised the recovery of empty used packaging and films from industry, commerce and agriculture across the whole of Germany.
Because the RIGK does not have to orientate itself on the maximisation of profits, price reductions are always forwarded on to the customers. In this way, the license fees for some packaging could already be halved in the first ten years, and achieved a low level in 2005, which has been maintained until today.
RIGK is increasingly building up its international network, and becomes a member of a Pan European Association – the European Association of Plastics Recycling & Recovery Organisations (EPRO), which concerns itself with the organisation and promotion of plastics recycling.
RIGK Romania (RIGK S.R.L.) is founded and now brings RIGK know-how onto the Eastern European market.
Together with three further operators of producer-supported systems for the return of packaging, RIGK forms the Brancheninitiative Produktverantwortung (Product Responsibility Branch Initiative BiPv). The members are the Gebinde-Verwertungsgesellschaft der Mineralölwirtschaft mbH (packaging recycling association of the mineral oil economy mbH GVÖ), Hamburg, the Kreislaufsystem Blechverpackungen Stahl GmbH (Circulatory system for lead and steel packaging KBS) Düsseldorf and Partslife GmbH, Neu-Isenburg. All four companies began their work shortly after the Packaging Ordinance came into force in the year 1991.
RIGK starts to issue climate protection certificates in accordance with the ISO standards 14040 and 14044 to participating trademark users from the fields of industry, commerce and agriculture. In this way, the companies have their individual reduction of CO2 emissions officially confirmed through ecologically-efficient recycling.
In cooperation with EPRO, RIGK successfully organised the first International Recycling Forum in Wiesbaden . For the first time, international representatives of the branch meet together to exchange information on recycling topics.
The subsidiary RIGK Chile SpA accompanies Chile with consultancy projects on its path to being the first South American country with an effective closed loop recycling management. The focus is placed on the introduction of disposal systems.
60 employees and a total of seven recovery systems located across Germany – since its foundation 25 years ago, RIGK has developed into a successful and innovative service provider. And, as at the beginning, new impulses arrived in the anniversary year for packaging recycling from the world of politics: from 2019, the new Packaging Law is to bring changes in the recovery and recycling of plastics. The objectives for RIGK have been set: to successfully fulfil increasing demand, to develop the good economic situation of the company, to further increase customer satisfaction and to develop the existing recovery systems and the company’s international activities!