The United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, has agreed to a joint project at EXPO 2000 in Hanover in collaboration with Duales System Deutschland AG. Both partners will present concrete solutions for major ecological issues at the Dual System's "cyclebowl" pavilion. The main focus will be on comprehensive, holistic visions like the closed-cycle economy and the sustainable utilisation of limited resources like water and soil. In addition to this, the two organisations are also planning additional joint activities at the world exposition. "It is becoming increasingly clear that consumers are developing a genuine interest in how the products they buy are disposed of after they have been used," explained Prof. Klaus Töpfer, UNEP's current executive director. In addition to price and quality, this factor is now playing an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions. This growing consumer awareness is also an important signal to manufacturers, warning them to accept responsibility for their products and move away from the throw- away society. According to Töpfer, government and industry must now both act to make more progress in this direction. "We thus expressly support the principle of the closed-cycle economy as exemplified in the work of the Dual System and the cyclebowl. In the closed-cycle economy every manufacturer of a product is responsible for returning its component parts to the material cycle," said Töpfer. He then went on to explain that this concept was first legally implemented in Germany's Packaging Ordinance, which is now serving as a model for similar systems in many European countries. Töpfer added that it is necessary to extend the scope of the closed-cycle economy and product responsibility concepts, applying them to other sectors of business and industry as well. Wolfram Brück, managing board chairman of Duales System Deutschland AG, views the collaboration with UNEP as a special tribute to the successful work of the Green Dot system. "Our cooperation with UNEP shows that our efforts to prevent and recycle waste have been seen and appreciated," he said. At the same time Brück also pointed out that a great deal still remains to be done in the development of the closed-cycle economy, particularly with regard to the further automation of sorting processes, improved quality of recycled materials and lower costs for industry and consumers. "Despite the many difficult challenges facing us, there is simply no alternative to the closed-cycle economy as the only viable, sustainable way of doing business," underlined Brück. Since 1992 the Dual System has recycled over 30 million tons of packaging marked with the Green Dot. The United Nations' environment organisation UNEP was established in 1972. Prof. Klaus Töpfer, Germany's former environment minister, assumed the position of executive director in 1998 and has been in charge of the organisation since then. UNEP's headquarters are located in Nairobi. Its main objectives are the improvement of global environmental conditions and the standard of living for people all over the world. The concept of sustainable development, as framed in the Agenda 21 of the world environment conference in Rio de Janeiro, plays a pivotal role in these goals. UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) in Paris supports decision-makers in government and industry, helping to further the implementation of environment-friendly and sustainable production processes, thus helping to make more effective use of natural resources. One of the key objectives is to couple reduction of environmental pollution with better products, greater customer satisfaction and lower costs for industry. ots Original Text Service: Duales System Deutschland AG Internet: http://recherche.newsaktuell.de Contact at Duales System Deutschland AG: Dr. Heike Schiffler Director of Communications & Marketing Contact at UNEP: Division of Technology, Industry and Economics Production and Consumption Unit 39-43, Quai André Citroen 75739 Paris Cedex 15, France Tel: (++33) 144-37 4-50 Fax: (++33) 144-3714-74 For more information please visit our website http://www.gruener-punkt.de/expo2000. The Dual System is participating in EXPO 2000 with its own pavilion, the cyclebowl. Situated in the western part of the site ("Gelände West"), the cyclebowl is open each day during the world exposition from June 1 to October 31, 2000 from 9.30 am to 9.30 pm.