Waste: Information for specialists

Every consumer good is based on a raw material, and whether that is mineral oil, aluminium, gravel, iron or something else, all are limited. Consumption is increasing throughout the world and, with it, the utilization of resources. Careful handling of our natural resources is good for the environment and is economically beneficial.

In Switzerland the global use of materials stands currently at 47 tonnes per head and year. From an ecological, economic and social point of view, this amount requires sustainable material management techniques. Waste statistics and indicators for the evaluation of waste disposal also make this clear.

Waste may be disposed of in many different ways. Recycling is the most popular method in Switzerland. This means either the direct re-use of used products or material recovery, such as the production of new glass from broken glass. Energy is also recovered in waste incineration plants. Alternatively, waste may be deposited in landfill sites.

SwissPRTR is the publicly accessible Swiss Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. It provides information about the release of pollutants in air, water and soil. SwissPRTR contributes to the sustainable development of production companies.

The Swiss waste management economy is a well-functioning system with public and private stakeholders. This system is one component of a sustainable and comprehensive resources policy. Raw materials are scarce and expensive, and for this reason any material cycles that are still open must be closed. This is the goal that has been set within the context of the Green Economy for the improvement of resources efficiency.

Switzerland supports the development of a comprehensive, coherent, effective and efficient international regime for waste management, as well as improved co-operation with the private sector. Existing regulatory gaps should be closed.

Last modification 11.07.2019

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