The Swiss are showing a considerable appetite for plastic materials. Each year, their country generates nearly 100 pounds of plastic waste per capita. It is more than three times the average European.
Disposable packaging represent more than 75% of the million tonnes of plastic consumed annually in Switzerland. The Switzerland ceased to store its waste in landfills by the year 2000. Therefore, what is not recycled is incinerated to generate energy. The Swiss are now wondering if it makes more sense to recycle such packaging or burn them.
According to a report of external PlasticsEuropeLien, the Association that represents European producers of plastics, the Switzerland recycles approximately 25% of its waste of this nature. She is so far behind the Norway and the Sweden that to recycle more than 40%. This rate is higher than 35% in Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland and Spain.
The recycling of plastic has potential
Currently, the Swiss collect 80,000 tons of plastic for recycling – this is essentially external PETLien beverage bottles, but also of other bottles or containers of good quality for milk, shampoo or even the detergents. In theory, the Switzerland could recycle 112’000 extra tons of plastic per year.
In other words, each in Switzerland could collect and recycle 14 kilos of plastic over a year. But there is no system across the country and few recycling plants.
However, consumers showed that they really want to contribute to a circular economy, evidenced by the rate of recycling of PET bottles which reached 83%. The national campaign on PET began in 1990 and today there are more than 50’000 collection points for these bottles in the country.
In addition, pushed by consumers to not only recycle the PET and the milk bottles, Swiss supermarkets began five years ago to resume all types of plastic bottles.