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(Preparation 1 - E-Learning Unit - Plastics in General)
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'''Recycling and Reuse of Plastic Waste in Europe - Assigning'''
'''Recycling and Reuse of Plastic Waste in Europe - Assigning'''
What happened to the 29.1 million tonnes of plastic waste that European consumers have produced in 2018? Match the percentages with the processing possibilities!
What happened to the 29.1 million tonnes of plastic waste that European consumers have produced in 2018? Match the percentages with the processing possibilities!
*Recycling - the correct answer is 32.5 % -
Recycling - the correct answer is 32.5 % -
*Landfill - the correct answer is 24.9 % -
Landfill - the correct answer is 24.9 % -
*Energy Recovery (incineration) - the correct answer is 42.6 % -
Energy Recovery (incineration) - the correct answer is 42.6 % -
Recycling and Reuse of Plastic Waste in Germany - Text-box
Recycling and Reuse of Plastic Waste in Germany - Text-box
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Please comment on the text above. - insert text box here -
Please comment on the text above. - insert text box here -
===TINS-D Analysis - Plastic Bag ===
===TINS-D Analysis - Plastic Bag ===
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Outline at least three aspects/correlations between your selected perspective on the plastic bag and democracy! - Insert Text-box here -
Outline at least three aspects/correlations between your selected perspective on the plastic bag and democracy! - Insert Text-box here -
===Introduction of a new Tool===
===Introduction of a new Tool===
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- Insert text-box here -
- Insert text-box here -
=== Additional Information - Upload===
=== Additional Information - Upload===

Version vom 26. Januar 2021, 19:35 Uhr

Bisphenol A and Plastics - Should they be banned or allowed? - Digital


This building block deals with different perspectives on controversial technologies and the potential dangers they entail. The role of science is critically examined in this context. As science is commonly considered neutral, we tend to overlook that scientists have the power to largely influence public discourse and decision making. They can for example provide various interest groups with suitable arguments or calculating the potential risks as large or small as possible.

Bisphenol A is a central component of many types of plastic. For example in the lining of food cans it increases the storage life of foods. It was originally developed as a substitute for estrogen, but did not show the desired effect. Anyway, Bisphenol A has been the subject of controversial scientific studies, social debates and political decisions due to its hormonal effect.

In a small role play the participants adopt the position of representatives from industry, science, a citizens' initiative and decision makers. Starting from the same references, they develop their role's position and represent it in an acted TV talk show. On the basis of this debate, the decision makers determine how bisphenol A will be handled in the future. Finally, the debate and the decision-making process are reflected upon together.

Bisphenol A and Plastics - Should they be banned or allowed? - Digital
Bisphenol A, dealing with risks and uncertainties
Bisphenol A, plastic waste, risks of technologies, neutrality of science
Perspective-taking, Anticipation, Dealing with Incompleteness and Overcomplexity, Gaining Interdisciplinary Knowledge, Cooperation, Participation, Reflecting Principals
Forms of Learning
cooperative, fact-oriented
Role play: TV talk show including conflicting positions, reflection in big group
Group Size
optimally groups of 8, but at least 4 participants
90 minutes
Material and Space
e-learning unit on plastics in general, e-Learning unit on bisphenol A
very good - basic building block in Berlin
Winter Semester 2020/21

Preparation and Follow-Up

Facilitators’ Preparation

The facilitators research the latest developments in the field of plastics and update the e-learning units if necessary. Most importantly the information on bisphenol A (4,4'-methanediyldiphenol) must be regularly updated in order to outline the latest legal and scientific situation.

The facilitators evaluate the participants' preparation on plastics and create a quantitative visual summary (e.g. bar chart) concerning the following three questions:

  • What is your favorite product made from plastic?
  • Is there a plastic product you could easily live without? Or is there none?
  • Which product made from plastic would you not be able to abstain from?

The participants have completed a TINS-D analysis on plastic with respect to one of the four dimensions of TINS. Thereafter, they discussed their findings in relation to democracy.

The facilitators quote two answers from the TINS dimensions each. The facilitators set up a forum for the participants to post their results from group work.

Participants‘ Preparation

The participants complete two e-learning units: 1) Plastics in general and 2) Information on Bisphenol A. Both provide the content needed for the TV talk show debate.

Participants‘ Follow-Up

Plastic Challenge – One Week without Plastics


Minute 00 - Introduction


The facilitators welcome the participants and introduce the topic, the learning outcomes and the schedule.

They present their visual summary of the participants’ preparation. They present a complete TINS-D analysis with quotes from the participants’ preparation. They especially work out interrelations and conflicts between the aspects. The aspect of democracy is explained and emphasized.

The facilitators prepare breakout sessions with up to 8 participants per session.


Learning Outcome of this Building Block

  • Taking different perspectives when dealing with potential risks of technology
  • Analysing the role of science and questioning its neutrality
  • Reflecting group dynamics and decision making processes

Today’s Schedule

  • 00:00 Greeting & Evaluation of e-learning units
  • 00:15 Debate on bisphenol A in small groups
  • 00:45 Reflection upon the debate
  • 01:20 Plastic Challenge and poll
  • 01:25 Conclusion and follow-up
  • 01:30 Time for Questions

Evaluation of the E-Learning Unit

  • - Insert diagrams/word clouds/slides here. An example can be found in the attachment. -

TINS-D Analysis of a Plastic Bag

  • - Insert analysis/slides here. An example can be found in the attachment. –

Minute 15 - Bisphenol A – Ban or Allow? – TV talk show


The facilitators introduce the tasks for the small group work and additionally explain the discussion rules. They emphasize that the goal of the role play-style task is to convince the others of the opinion of one’s role.

The participants work on the tasks independently in groups of up to 8 students.


Role play on Bisphenol A – Should it be banned or allowed? - imaginary TV talk show

  • Bisphenol A is a controversial topic repeatedly covered in the media
  • A big TV station is now testing its new concept for a TV talk show: only experts and no moderation
  • You act as the experts in this imaginary TV talk show

Experts on the TV talk show

  • Industry - Bisphenol A is a major resource for plastic production and thus important to Europe's plastic industry. This industry is financially strong and provides a large number of jobs. Industry representatives therefore advocate an unrestricted use of bisphenol A, especially since the risks have not been proven beyond doubt.
  • Science - Scientific sources do not provide a clear picture. They are actually quite controversial or incomplete. The scientists therefore represent an objective and sometimes even distanced position. They might agree that bisphenol A does not have to be banned in general. However, there are hints to potential dangers so it is considered necessary to intensify scientific research on its possible effects.
  • Citizens' initiative - It is likely that bisphenol A bares serious risks for humans and the environment; there are scientific studies that have actually proven this in many cases. The representatives of the citizens' initiative argue in favor of a comprehensive ban of bisphenol A, having in mind that plastics can be produced without bisphenol A.
  • Decision makers - Currently bisphenol A is widely used in the production of plastics, as there are almost no restrictions or bans. Based on the TV talk show, decision makers decide whether bisphenol A will continue to be allowed or whether its use will be regulated, e.g. by bans, limits etc. Moral values and principles are used as a basis for the decision making process and have to be rendered transparently.

Overview of Tasks

  • Task 1: Organize your Role Play - 5 min
  • Task 2: Prepare your Role Play Individually - 5 min
  • Task 3: The actual TV Talk Show - 15 min

Task 1: Organize your Role Play - 5 min

  • 6 to 8 people in each group
  • Distribute the following roles equally:
  • Industry - at least 2 students
  • Science - at least 2 students
  • Citizens' initiative - at least 2 students
  • Decision makers - remaining students
  • Divide yourself into two groups - A and B - both groups discuss one after the other

Task 2: Prepare your Role Play Individually - 5 min

  • Industry, Science, Citizens‘ initiative – prepare arguments to support your position
  • Decision makers - Prepare a list of criteria (e.g. values, principles). You will use them as a basis for your decision on the further use of bisphenol A. Be prepared to transparently present your criteria to the others.

Task 3: The actual TV Talk Show - 15 min

  • Get started directly, without any moderation
  • Group A discusses and group B listens - 6 min
  • Group B discusses and group A listens - 6 min
  • After the debates decision makers announce their decision and explain their criteria - 3 min

Minute 45 - Reflection of the TV talk show - Group Work


The facilitators present the tasks/questions to consider in the reflection process. They emphasize that these tasks are not part of the role play anymore. They send the participants back to the same breakout sessions they were in the TV-Talk Show.

The participants reflect their group work independently in breakout sessions. If this building block is used in one of the first sessions, the facilitators remind the participants of the guidelines for group discussion.


Task: Reflect your Talk Show and Decision Making Process - 13 min

  • Analyze your talk show and the explanation of the decision
  • Take a look at societal debates and decision-making processes concerning technology in general

Questions to consider

  • Weight of Demands - Tool
    • Whose demands were considered in the decision makers’ decision and whose demands were left out?
  • Analysis of TINS-D-interrelations
    • What can you conclude from the talk show on bisphenol A about the interrelations of TINS-D in general?
  • Transfer
    • Which decisions with a high level of uncertainty or an unclear outcome do engineers make every day?
    • Whose demands do you want to be considered in your decisions?

Minute 60 - Reflection and Discussion - Big Group


The breakout sessions end. All participants reflect upon their TV talk shows together. Furthermore, the tool "Poltergeist of Scientific Neutrality" is introduced. The facilitators promote controversial discussion and transfer by asking questions.

The facilitators summarize the discussion shortly in the end. They point out where they have started the discussion, repeat key statements of the participants and draw connections between them.

Questions that can be asked:

  • Reflection of TV talk show
    • What have been the eye-opening moments of your debate?
    • How did the discussion go? Smoothly? Any problems?
    • Did you find it hard to shift into another perspective?
    • Who named mainly rational or emotional arguments?
  • Tools
    • Which tools did you incorporate into your debate? (e.g. Weight of Demands, TINS-D Analysis)
  • Poltergeist of Scientific Neutrality
    • What role did science play on your talk show? Has science been neutral?
    • Is neutral science possible? How neutral can or must science be?
    • What is the relationship between values, research and the object of research?
    • industry, citizens' initiatives as well as decision makers refer to science, although they all have different opinions. What conflicts/ contradictions arise from this?
    • How far can we go with criticising the neutrality of science? Where can this become dangerous?
  • Transfer
    • What are the parallels to similar debates, e.g. on glyphosate, nuclear energy, nitrogen oxide, antibiotics, asbestos, etc.?
    • Which decisions with a high level of uncertainty or an unclear outcome do engineers make every day?
    • What are your experiences with risks in the course of your studies, internship or professional life?


Tool - Poltergeist of the Neutrality of Science

The neutrality of science haunts heads, laboratories, societies and history. Over and over and time and time again.

Whoever conducts research usually wants to present sound, structured and reliable knowledge that can be understood intersubjectively and on a long-term basis, so it is desirable to leave out as many social factors as possible. However, they always seem to come in through the back door. Science thus justifies one's own values in terms of being human, race, religion, gender, socialisation, economy, etc., and above all one's own habits such as mobility, consumption of the natural world, order, etc.

Minute 80 – Poll on Participants’ use of Plastics


The facilitators conduct a small poll on the participants’ use of plastics. Participants are asked to vote by putting up their hands.

The questions are ordered in a way that with each question more hands are put up. To overview the poll everybody uses gallery view.

The following questions are asked:

  • Who does not consume plastics at all?
  • Who has ever tried to live completely without plastic in everyday life?
  • Who thinks that it is manageable to completely abstain from using plastic for one week?
  • Who tries to minimize his/her consumption of plastic in everyday life (e.g. avoiding packaged fruit)?
  • Who regularly recycles his/her plastic via the yellow bin?
  • Who thinks that it is manageable to completely abstain from buying plastic for one week?

The facilitators present the follow-up: The Plastic Challenge - Participants’ should not buy products made out of plastics during the next week. Everything that has been bought earlier is allowed to be used.

The participants are supposed to note down their perception, difficulties, critical comments and résumé in their personal journal afterwards.



  • Reflect upon the session in your personal journal (e.g. TINS-D Analysis, TV talk show)
  • Master the Plastic Challenge:
  • Do not buy plastics in the coming week
  • You are allowed to use the plastic products you have at home already
  • Note down your perception, difficulties, critical comments and résumé in your personal journal afterwards

85. Minute - Conclusion and Follow-Up


If this building block is carried out in one of the first sessions, time for questions and feedback is given. The facilitators can ask for feedback as well.

The facilitators present the preparation for the building block that will follow in the next session and long term preparation.


Next weeks’ preparation

  • - insert tasks for preparation here -


Authors‘ Note

Fundamental building block at TU Berlin - german version successfully tested with 120 participants in groups of 8. This english version has been carried out successfully with 50 participants in the international Blue Engineering course at TU Berlin.

If this building block is carried out in one of the first sessions, it can have an open end in moderated groups. Every facilitator moderates one group. The participants talk about their ideas for their semester project. The following questions might guide the conversation:

  • What is a main expectation you have on every building block?
  • What content do you want to talk about in this course?
  • Who should bring up this content?
  • When the group is big enough or even too big the poll in minute 80 can alternatively be done in moderated groups.

Further Notes

Still to come.



Preparation 1 - E-Learning Unit - Plastics in General


The e-learning unit consists of six sections. To break up the text, images and infographics should be included.

  • Personal use of plastics
  • PlasticsEurope - Self-portrayal of the European plastic industry association
  • TINS-D Analysis of plastic bags
  • Commenting on a short film - artistic element
  • Additional information
  • Feedback on the e-learning unit

Preparation for the Building Block on Plastics

The following questions and tasks prepare you for the building block on plastics. You can get warm with the topic and briefly familiarise yourself with the context.

You can check directly if your answer is correct by clicking on "Check". Finally, you have to click on "Finish attempt" at the bottom. On the reloaded page click "Submit all and finish" to hand in your answers and finish the activity.

What is your favorite product made from plastics? - insert text-box here -

Is there a plastic product you could easily live without? Or is there none? - insert text-box here -

Which product made from plastic would you not be able to abstain from? - insert text-box here -

PlasticsEurope - The Association of the European Plastics Industry

PlasticsEurope is a leading European trade association, with centres in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. They network with European and national plastics associations and have more than 100 member companies, who are responsible for producing more than 90% of all polymers across the 27 member states of the European Union, plus Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and UK. On a global level, PlasticsEurope actively supports the World Plastics Council (WPC) and the Global Plastics Alliance (GPA). (https://www.plasticseurope.org/en/about-us/who-we-are)

Once a year PlasticsEurope publishes a short industry report: Plastics - the Facts 2019. The following questions can be answered quite easily with this report - of course, you do not have to read the whole document to do so. You only need to search for the keywords in the PDF file.


Worldwide Plastics Production in Tons - Text-box Plastic is a versatile material that is being increasingly used in industry: in 1950, only one million tonnes of plastic were produced worldwide, in 1976 more than 20 million tonnes, in 1989 already 100 million tonnes and in 2002 the milestone of 200 million tonnes was reached. If you want to learn more about the history of plastics, PlasticsEurope offers more information: https://www.plasticseurope.org/de/about-plastics/what-are-plastics/history

How many tons of plastic were produced worldwide in 2018? - insert text box here - the correct answer is 359 t -

Recycling and Reuse of Plastic Waste in Europe - Assigning What happened to the 29.1 million tonnes of plastic waste that European consumers have produced in 2018? Match the percentages with the processing possibilities!

  • Recycling - the correct answer is 32.5 % -
  • Landfill - the correct answer is 24.9 % -
  • Energy Recovery (incineration) - the correct answer is 42.6 % -

Recycling and Reuse of Plastic Waste in Germany - Text-box The final storage of plastics on dumping grounds is prohibited. According to a regulation on the avoidance and recycling of packaging waste, at least 22.5% of plastic waste must be recycled.

What percentage of German plastic waste is thermally recycled, that is, incinerated? - insert text-box here - the correct answer is 60 % -

Self-portrayal of PlasticsEurope - Text-box The European plastics industry believes that they contribute significantly to Europe's prosperity by making innovations reality, improving the quality of life and enabling resource efficiency and climate protection. More than 1.6 million people work in about 60,000 companies in the plastics industry (in the processing sector mostly small to medium-sized enterprises). They generate a turnover of more than 360 billion euros per year and pay 30 billion euros in taxes and social security charges.

Please comment on the text above. - insert text box here -

TINS-D Analysis - Plastic Bag

Plastic bags are mainly used for carrying purchases, for storing and for transporting waste. Printed plastic bags are also used by the retail and consumer industry as an advertising medium. According to the EU Commission, around 100 billion plastic shopping bags are consumed in Europe each year, which means 198 bags per citizen.

According to the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency), 5.3 billion plastic bags are used in Germany every year, that is 10,000 bags per minute. Along with Italy, Spain and Great Britain, Germany is one of the absolute leaders in plastic bag consumption. In Berlin alone, 227 million new plastic bags are used annually. This results in 1.3 kilograms of packaging waste per inhabitant every year.

References: https://www.bmu.de/faqs/plastiktueten-vereinbarung/ and https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/daten/ressourcen-abfall/verwertung-entsorgung-ausgewaehlter-abfallarten/verpackungsabfaelle#eu-vorgaben-zur-verwertung-werden-erhoht

Which of the following four terms addresses you the most? - Multiple-choice Select an answer: 1) individual - 2) Technology - 3) Nature - 4) Societies

Now discuss the plastic bag from the perspective you have just chosen. Mention at least three aspects! - Insert Text-box here -

Outline at least three aspects/correlations between your selected perspective on the plastic bag and democracy! - Insert Text-box here -

Introduction of a new Tool

Everyone has their own perspective, which is not so easy to overcome. We want to present a method to you by which the topic of plastics can be looked at from as many different perspectives as possible in addition to our own.

The TINS-D Constellation Analysis, a tool in our Blue Toolbox, helps us to approach a topic from different perspectives. In order to understand the topic as comprehensively as possible, we will look at it from a technical, environmental, individual and social perspective.

TINS-D Constellation

Technology, individuals, nature, society and democracy (TINS-D) repeatedly form powerful reciprocal relations that create something new and allow old ideals to fade away. These constellations must be both analyzed and democratized.

The constellation of technology, individuals, nature, society and democracy (TINS-D) consists of five interconnected coordinates. Democracy is placed in the middle in order to determine the democratic content of any decision as well as the decision-making processes with regard to TINS. At the same time, this allows for the clarification of a normative standpoint which aims to democratize the reciprocal relations of TINS. The TINS-D constellation allows for the analysis of both individual coordinates and their interrelationships.

Commenting on a Short Film - Text-box

Watch one of the following two short films and comment on it briefly!

The Majestic Plastic Bag and its Migration to its Home - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLgh9h2ePYw

The Plastic Bag, the Wind, the Leafs and the red Brickwall - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHxi-HSgNPc

- Insert text-box here -

Additional Information - Upload

Do some further research of your own and share some further information or one text/image/graphic/link in the text-box below! - Insert text-box here -

Here are a few more useful sources that we have found:

Feedback on this E-Learning Unit - Text-box

We are looking forward to improving our e-learning units and like to try out different things. Therefore, it would be great if you could give us a short feedback on this e-learning unit.

Thanks a lot! - insert text-box here -

Preparation 2 - E-Learning Unit - Information on Bisphenol A

What is Bisphenol A? - Multiple-choice

Bisphenol A was one of the first synthetic substances of which it was known that it can have a similar effect to that of the female sex hormone oestrogen. The British biochemists Edward Charles Dodds and Wilfrid Lawson [1; 2] searched in 1936 for chemicals that were able to replace natural oestrogen in medical therapy. This female hormone was extremely expensive, since it had to be synthesized from the urine of pregnant mares. In similar animal experiments carried out today with rats, whose ovaries have been removed, scientists have identified bisphenol A as a substance with weak oestrogenic activity.

Nevertheless, bisphenol A did not pursue a career in pharmacy, since the same researchers soon identified much more potent synthetic oestrogens [...]. No longer needed as a drug, bisphenol A found an alternative career as industrial chemical, and it is nowadays found in many everyday products. [...]

Bisphenol A is found in many everyday products: in CDs and DVDs, in cash register receipts made of thermal paper and in plastic bowls. [...] Epoxy resins are also produced from bisphenol A. Epoxy resins are fluid. With the addition of hardeners they react into hard, indissoluble and chemical-resistant plastics. They are predominantly used in the form of resin adhesives, coating resins and casting resins for surface coatings, including the inner coatings of metal packaging (such as beverage and food cans).

cited from www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/publikation/long/3992.pdf

Bisphenol A is a natural substance that can be produced from natural resources. - 1) true - 2) false - the correct answer is false -

What is an Endocrine Disrupter? - multiple-choice

The mechanisms of hormone action induced by bisphenol A is in the focus of public attention (for example: [20; 45; 46]). Substances interfere with the hormonal system can – if they enter the body in a sufficient concentration – change the hormone system, disrupt embryonal development and impair reproduction [47]. In science, such substances are named environmental hormones or endocrine disrupters [48]. In the same way as natural hormones, many of these substances attach to „docking sites“ (receptors) for natural sex hormones and activate or hinder these receptors. As a result they influence processes that are normally triggered by natural hormones (for example, sexual development). Fish, for example, can feminize when they ingest substances that activate the receptor of the natural female sex hormone oestrogen.

cited from www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/publikation/long/3992.pdf

Endocrine disrupters are substances that can alter the hormonal system. - 1) true - 2) false - the correct answer is true -

Does Bisphenol A cause Health Damage? - Multiple-choice

Numerous studies have shown that bisphenol A disrupts the hormonal system of mammals and aquatic organisms. There are analyses that prove that even in low concentrations the chemical has a negative effect on sexuality, and that also establish a connection with the occurrence of diabetes and respiratory illnesses. Moreover, there are indications that bisphenol A can influence the development of mental abilities and behaviour, as well as encourage aggression and hinder learning. The scientific findings that are presently available are, however, not without inconsistencies. Many studies are the subject of controversial debate among scientists.

cited from https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/publikation/long/3992.pdf

In a cohort study of 3883 adults in the United States, participants with higher urinary bisphenol A levels were at higher risk for death during approximately 10 years of observation. The adjusted hazard ratio comparing the highest vs lowest tertile of urinary bisphenol A levels was 49% higher for all-cause mortality and was 46% higher, albeit not statistically significant, for cardiovascular disease mortality.

The findings in this study suggest that a higher level of bisphenol A exposure is associated with an increased risk of long-term all-cause mortality.

cited from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2769313?utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_term=081720 It has been proven and is no longer disputed by scientists that bisphenol A causes damage to health. - 1) true - 2) false - the correct answer is false -

How does Bisphenol enter our body? - Multiple-choice

According to present knowledge, we take in bisphenol A primarily by way of food. And how does the substance get into food?

Bisphenol A can be found in cans, namely in their inner coating. From there the substance can get into food. This happens by means of the chemical process of hydrolysis, by which bisphenol A is released through chemical reaction with water from the bonded (polymer) form. How much of the substance is freed heavily depends on the can-material production process. In food from cans with a coated inner surface, chemical measurements have shown bisphenol A concentrations of between 5 and 38 µg/kg (micrograms per kilogram) of can content. In canned meat even higher concentrations have occasionally occurred.

Tests with polycarbonate containers have also shown that bisphenol A can be released, for instance, through hot water. Detergent residues encourage the release of bisphenol A, the quantity depending on temperature, heating duration and water hardness, as well as on the detergents used. In this case, bisphenol A is probably not detached from the plastic; the plastic decomposes in the course of time and sets bisphenol A free.

cited from https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/publikation/long/3992.pdf

There are several ways for bisphenol A to enter our body. Taking it in by the way of food is only one possibility. - 1) true - 2) false - the correct answer is true -

What benefits does bisphenol A offer the industry? - Multiple-choice

BPA-based polycarbonate and epoxy resins are extremely durable while remaining light weight. This makes them materials of choice in food packaging containers. They can sustain numerous sanitation methods and be used safely for many years. BPA-based food contact materials offer an impressive sustainability performance. For example, 5-gallon reusable polycarbonate water bottles can be refilled over 50 times before being mechanically recycled. In addition, polycarbonate is lighter and stronger than glass. BPA is also key for the canned goods industry because BPA-based epoxy resins ensure cans’ content stays fresh and safe for consumption virtually irrespective of external conditions, thereby contributing to reducing food waste.

cited from https://bisphenol-a-europe.org/applications/food-packaging/

The plastics produced with bisphenol A could easily be replaced by other materials. The only advantage these plastics offer are the low manufacturing costs. - 1) true - 2) false - the correct answer is false -

Handling Bisphenol A - Regulations in Germany and the EU? - Multiple-choice

In summer 2007 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) increased the value for the tolerable daily intake by a factor of five to 50 micrograms per kilogram body weight. In early 2015 EFSA published a re-evaluation of BPA, reducing the value more than 10 times. Now it is four micrograms per kilogram of body weight.

In July 2016 the EU Commission's regulatory committee decided to ban BPA in thermal paper, but this will not come into force until 2020.

On February 4th, 2016 the REACH Committee voted in favor of classifying bisphenol A as toxic for reproduction in category 1B. Like carcinogenic or mutagenic substances of category 1, BPA could thus be included in the "candidate list" of substances of very high concern under Article 57(a) of the EU Chemicals Regulation REACH. The new classification of BPA as a substance of very high concern in category 1B entered into force on the 1st of March 2018.

cited from https://www.bund.net/themen/chemie/hormonelle-schadstoffe/bisphenol-a/ and translated into English.

If you want to know more about REACH: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/chemicals/reach_en

In January 2011, the European Commission prohibited the use of BPA in the manufacture of polycarbonate infant feeding bottles.

cited from http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/bisphenol

In Germany a law came into force in 2020, banning bisphenol A in packaging that comes into contact with food. - 1) true - 2) false - the correct answer is false -

What is the Precautionary Principle? - Multiple-choice

Once damage to the environment has already occurred, the only option is to put it right by retrospective remediation. If there is a risk to the environment - that is to say, if environmental damage is foreseeable with a reasonable degree of probability - the principle of danger prevention requires that its occurrence be prevented. The precautionary principle goes one important step further: The intention is for dangers to the environment to be prevented from arising in the first place. The precautionary principle therefore leads us to act in good time and with foresight in order to avoid environmental pollution.

The two dimensions of the precautionary principle are risk prevention and taking care of resources. Risk prevention means that, in the event of incomplete or uncertain knowledge of the nature, extent, probability and causality of environmental damage and dangers, one acts in a precautionary manner to prevent such environmental damage from the outset. Taking care of resources means handling natural resources such as water, soil and air with a view to their long-term conservation in the interest of future generations.

cited from https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/precautionary-principle

The precautionary principle is about taking measures to prevent possible damage as early as a suspicion arises. - 1) true - 2) false - the correct answer is true -


Example - Evaluation of the E-Learning Unit

What is your favorite product made from plastic?

Is there a plastic product you could easily live without? Or is there none?

Which product made from plastic would you not be able to abstain from?

Example - TINS-D Analysis of a Plastic Bag

Slides Technology

  • “Plastic bags are stronger than paper bags and need less energy in the production. Also they can be reused several times, for many years!”
  • “Plastic bags existence is essential until we synthesize and discover innovative and better technology for its replacement.”


  • “The problem is the way [plastic] is being used. Like in a rebound effect, plastic bags are cheap and numerous so everyone is using them only once and every time it is pleasant for them. So maybe the solution would be to sell them […] so that people would actually think of it twice.”
  • “The plastic bag is only practical because it does not require the individual to carry an ordinary bag around with them all the time.”


  • “Plastic [items] can take up to 1000 years to get decomposed in landfills. This is so so much time when it comes to the consequences plastic has on our ecosystem!”
  • “A viable alternative to the plastic has to have a smaller carbon footprint regarding its manufacture as well as shouldn’t cause environmental hazards. In other words, its production must be “sustainable”.”


  • “We must consider the labor and employees who work in related companies to earn money for their expenditures.”
  • “Given that plastic bags are cheap and convenient, they are accessible to almost everyone. Plastic bags also help to keep the society clean. But plastic waste - however - is going to impact everyone in the end.”


  • “A democracy would probably be the best way to decide which path a society should take.”
  • “Democracy can be implemented by people who care about their society's health situation - and the ones who cause it.”

Note: We have separated the aspects for reasons of clarity and comprehensibility. However, all aspects of TINS-D are connected to each other by complex interrelations.