District office Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY / BRAND & COMMUNICATON
since December 2021
Before the pandemic, the Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg had been struggling with an increased amount of trash in its parks and green spaces. Since the pandemic, it’s only increased. Disposable packaging, including to-go cups and pizza boxes, pile up next to trash cans on nice days. The Zero Waste concept for the district, which was developed by Circular Berlin in 2019, is gradually being put into practice to declare war on trash in public spaces. The obligation to use reusable containers, which takes effect on January 1, 2023, will also put restaurants and cafés in a tight spot – the district wants to support businesses in advance.
To address both restaurants and their customers – all of us – the project is based on two pillars. On one hand, we teach neighborhood restaurants what reusable is and advise on the best and most cost-effective solution for them. On the other hand, we communicate the topic to the general public on various channels: online and with the help of social media ads, directly around the green spaces with the help of on-site signs, and throughout the summer at the Boxhagener Platz weekly market in partnership with reusable vendors.
The "Ask for reusable!" campaign with local restaurants serves as a call to action and brings positive role models to the forefront. Through a variety of communication measures and on-site campaigns, we raised awareness of the issue and made it easier for restaurateurs to introduce reusable packaging.
The personal outreach to all establishments around the two hotspots Admiralbrücke and Boxhagener Platz led to a strong increase in awareness among both target groups but also to concrete successes: At the halfway point of the project, 10% of the establishments contacted had already introduced reusable containers or were about to do so. 95% of the establishments now accept containers brought in by customers and fill them – the most sustainable and long-term solution is when customers change their habits.
Thanks to press coverage and the campaign, which was seen at three busy subway stations, the issue gained a lot of attention. The district took a big step toward becoming a zero waste district!