In online retail in particular, tons of returned or leftover textiles and electronic devices would end up in the trash. The initiative, which she presented on “Black Friday” with the Upper Austrian environmental councilor Stefan Kaineder (both Greens) in Linz, goes back to a recommendation by the climate council.
According to Greenpeace estimates, 4.6 million kilograms of unused textiles were destroyed in Austria last year, at least 1.31 million returned packages with clothing and 120,000 with electrical items ended up in the garbage. “If you listen to these numbers, then you know something is wrong,” said Gewessler, because the production of textiles and electronic items in particular is energy- and raw-material-intensive. Especially in online trade, resources would be destroyed by the destruction of the goods. It is better to “make a social contribution” and pass on used items. “In order to curb this rampant waste, a ban on the destruction of new and new goods is also needed in Austria”.
Next week, Gewessler’s ministry wants to start talks with industry representatives, social and civil society organizations to work out how to implement a ban on extermination. The vote with the coalition partner ÖVP is still pending. The minister remained vague on the question of how to bind the big online giants: “It’s all thick boards that we’re drilling here,” she wants to tackle the problem bit by bit and pointed out that in Spain, France and Germany already has extermination bans.