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Weak point

Switzerland’s plastic bottle mountain

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Switzerland is among the leaders in glass, PET and aluminium recycling. But when it comes to ordinary plastic it is struggling to find a national solution. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

The Swiss are leaders in recycling glass, aluminium, batteries and PET. With ordinary plastic bottles though still only a fraction gets recycled. Unlike PET – or Polyethylene terephthalate packaging – there are far too few ordinary plastic collection points.

PET bottles have been collected and recycled all over the country for the past 25 years. And the costs are covered by the customers. That equals around two cents per bottle. It’s added to the product price and covers the costs of collection and transport to the recycling plant. As a result 83% of all PET bottles are recycled. 

Swiss recycling companies would like to introduce this system to ordinary plastic bottles as well. At the moment retailers are hesitant. The major supermarkets, Migros and Coop, are already collecting and recycling plastic bottles on their own, but for the moment don’t want to get involved in a nationwide project. They claim that raising product prices for covering recycling costs is currently out of question.