Major Swiss businesses to launch new national recycling scheme in 2023

Major Swiss businesses to launch new national recycling scheme in 2023

Swiss Recycling - the umbrella organisation for recycling firms in Switzerland - with the support of major Swiss companies, has announced a new plastic recycling and collection system to be started next year. Organisers hope that by 2030, food in the alpine nation will only be packaged in recycled plastic.

One person in Switzerland uses 150 kilograms of plastic a year

According to Le Matin, an average person in Switzerland throws away or recycles 150 kilograms of plastic a year, double the amount it was 20 years ago. In a statement, Swiss Recycling noted that a desire by the public to be more environmentally friendly has pushed entrepreneurs, councils (Gemeindes) and plastic manufacturers towards a “circular market” - where no plastic is made, only recycled.

However, as there is no centralised recycling system beyond the PET-Recycling scheme, progress towards this goal has been slow. They noted that only around half of the plastics collected in Switzerland are recycled, the rest being burnt to generate energy. The organisation reasoned that as the European Union has already pledged to use only recyclable plastics by 2030, Switzerland, willingly or not, will have to follow suit.

Migros, Coop, Aldi and Lidl launch new recycling scheme in Switzerland

Therefore, the organisation, along with international companies like Migros, Coop, Aldi, Lidl and 50 food packaging firms, have announced a new nationwide collection and recycling scheme with the aim of collecting more plastic and increasing the “recyclability of packaging.” 

While details remain vague, the scheme is expected to increase cooperation between each organisation in recycling plastic, and make recycling centres more numerous. The ultimate goal is to create a “circular market” of recyclable-only plastics in Switzerland by 2030, in line with EU goals.

While the exact start date of the scheme is yet to be finalised - although it is confirmed to be sometime in 2023 - many other companies have already announced that they will be moving towards recycle-only plastics. According to NZZ am Sonntag, Nestlé in Canton Vaud has announced that it will use exclusively recyclable containers by 2025.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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