Many political, business and civil society stakeholders are disappointed with the German Packaging Act. They feel it makes a comparatively small contribution to the circular economy. This study explains why they are disappointed:
Policy-making became entangled in disputes between proponents of a private and a public system for waste collection. Stakeholder fears of potential radical changes led to a stalemate
Fears allowed only incremental changes in the Packaging Act
The incremental changes could not resolve existing conflicts.
Based on its findings, the paper proposes possible courses of action. To create a shift to a circular economy, dialogue is needed using methods which explicitly address fears and overcome the current stalemate.