Fast degrading Oxo plastics to be banned in Switzerland
Fast degrading “Oxo” plastics are to be banned in Switzerland from April 1, after the Federal Council announced sweeping changes to the country's environmental policy. The move will align Switzerland with the EU, which has already banned the type of plastic.
Microplastics remain an issue in Switzerland
Oxo-degradable plastic is a compound that degrades much faster than regular blends when exposed to light and heat, quickly breaking down into microplastics before they can be recycled. Microplastics have proven to be highly problematic for the environment, with an estimated 24,4 trillion pieces in the world’s oceans, according to ScienceDaily.
Data from the Federal Office for the Environment shows that Switzerland uses around 1 million tonnes of plastic every year, equivalent to around 125 kilograms per person. While the country does recycle and use plastic for the generation of electricity, waste remains an issue.
Switzerland to align with the EU on use of plastic
As part of the new announcement, the Federal Council will also make landfills more environmentally friendly and modify legislation to make sure that the use of chemicals in Switzerland remains in line with the EU.
The Federal Council hopes that the reforms will be positive for Swiss mountains, lakes and rivers, which have seen increased plastic pollution in recent years. In a statement, the government said it hoped to maintain “a level of health and environmental protection in Switzerland that is as high as it is in the EU.”