Most organic produce sold in Switzerland comes wrapped in plastic, whereas the percentage is lower for non-organic produce, according to the Consumer Protection Foundation.
A test by the Foundationexternal link showed that 84% of organic fruit and vegetables came in plastic film, while the percentage for conventionally grown produce was 44%, it said on Wednesday.
“This is doubly annoying for organic consumers, who as a rule attach particular importance to environmentally friendly consumption,” it added.
The Consumer Protection Foundation sampled 221 products in 10 shops in the cities of Bern and Basel. The outlets included retail giants Migros, Coop, Denner, Aldi and Lidl.
Reacting on Wednesday, Migros said it had set itself the goal of doubling open sales of organic fruit and vegetables in the current year, but that the focus is on protecting the products and thus avoiding food waste. Open products are often touched, tested and put back, the retailer says, so it is forced to pack certain articles. In addition, a certain turnover threshold must be reached for open sales, according to Migros. The retailer says it is also examining the use of recycled material for packaging.
Meanwhile the environmental organisations Greenpeace and Zero Waste Switzerlandexternal link say the country is not doing enough to reduce its plastic waste. Switzerland produces nearly 100kg of plastic waste per inhabitant per year, but only 10% is recycled, according to the Federal Office for the Environment. The rest is burned in incineration plants or cement factories.
OFEV spokeswoman Rebekka Reichlin told Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA both incineration and recycling are satisfactory solutions, but the two environmental groups say this is a huge waste of resources. They point the finger particularly at companies that use single-use plastic, thus encouraging waste.
“Switzerland is one of the countries producing the most urban waste,” said Greenpeace spokesman Yves Tenger. “Efficient cleaning, sorting and collection systems mean, however, that these mountains of waste are barely visible.”