Switzerland, the second country producing the highest level of waste in Europe


April 2016, ZeroWaste Switzerland takes note of the latest numbers on waste announced by the federal environmental office OFEV and explains why those numbers are not that encouraging:

730 kg of urban waste per inhabitant in 2014 means 30 kg more than in 2013.

What is included in 730 kg of waste? We count 339 kg of incinerated waste (=burnt) and 391 kg are recycled (=sorted, either paper, glass, PET, aluminium, batteries, etc.), excluding construction waste, special or sewage sludge.

Those numbers on waste are reflecting the good wealth of our country and its increasing consumption. However, they are alarming because on the other hand, the resources are decreasing. Sorting is good, but not producing any waste is better!

Proud to be Swiss, but now we are Zero Waste!

The Zero Waste community and the association ZeroWaste Switzerland wish to change consumer behaviours by questioning some long-term habits.

We are leading by example with simple and concrete actions. For instance, we …

  • Use reusable fabric bags or nets instead of plastic disposable bags
  • Refuse over-packaged products or unnecessary packaging
  • Drink tap water and bring our tumblers or reusable mugs instead of drinking disposable PET water bottles or disposable plastic cups.

This way, we hope to create a reaction from actors such as producers and distributors, higher in the supply chain, and to find new and more sustainable alternatives. We have noticed already a few changes!

The best waste is the one that does not exist? Yes, specifically if we consider the final waste, the one that nobody can reuse or recycle. Incineration of waste produces air pollution and waste of non-renewable resources.

Each and everyone can make a change individually at his own pace, at home or professionally, and together we make the difference.