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Week in Numbers A giant festival, lake pollution and Swiss arms exports

Fête des Vignerons opening parade in Vevey

The giant, once-in-a-generation Fête des Vignerons has kicked off by Lake Geneva for three weeks of festivities.


Almost every article published by contains a percentage, an age, an amount of money or some other figure. Here’s a round-up of some of the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories.


The seating capacity of the open-air arena at the once-in-a-generation Fête des Vignerons, which kicked off with a flourish on Thursday. This winegrowers’ festival in Vevey, by Lake Geneva, is on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage sites and happens only once in a generation. 


The number of grams of microplastics per km2 in Lake Geneva, according to a recent analysisexternal link by the Oceaneye group. The numbers put Lake Geneva in the same category as bodies of water such as the Mediterranean. The global average for sea pollution is 160g/km2. 


The number of years it has taken for the US Senate to ratify a double-taxation agreement (DTA) with Switzerland after it was signed in 2009. This accord, designed to meet international standards on the exchange of bank data, had been blocked for ten years by one Republican US Senator.


The percentage of organic produce that comes wrapped in plastic film, according to a test by the Consumer Protection Foundation.  The percentage for conventionally grown produce was 44%, it found, noting that this is doubly annoying for organic consumers, who generally “attach particular importance to environmentally friendly consumption”.   

273 million

The value in Swiss francs ($276 million) of war materiel exported by Swiss companies in the first half of 2019, compared with $205 million for the same period last year. The Group for Switzerland without an Army raised concerns over the further increase in arms exports.

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