Guide to a better recycling in Switzerland

May 2nd at 6:31pm
Guide to a better recycling in Switzerland

In Switzerland, more than 94% of used glass is recycled. Glass recycling requires 25% less energy than the usual production from quartz sand.

Yet littering, a phenomenon that costs the Confederation more than CHF 200 million a year, continues to have an impact on the environment.

What can be recycled?

Batmaid offers you a non-exhaustive list of waste that can be found at home and that can be taken to collection points for recycling.

If you want to try out a zero waste lifestyle, check out our article to see just how to go about it.

Don't know where to bring your recyclable waste? Thanks to the Recycling-Map, you can easily find the nearest collection points near you.

Organique Organic substances

Instead of throwing away your peels and other food scraps, think compost! Organic matter can be transformed into rich soil for gardens or plants.

For the creation of a homemade compost, you will soon be able to read a detailed article on this subject!

Huiles Oils

Be careful not to mix cooking oil with mineral oil (from petrol and coal), the latter is very harmful to the environment. Both are recoverable, only if they are stored in different containers and dropped at collection points.

Paper and cardboard

It is not necessary to separate paper from cardboard! Anything can mix, just make sure not to recycle the cardboard from frozen packaging (they are covered with wax) and wet cardboard. Also, you don't need to remove the plastic window from your envelopes, and same thing for the staples of your documents!


Glass remains glass as the Vetroswiss slogan says. Glass can be remelted and reused! Remember to remove the caps that are made of aluminium or iron.

Be careful, however, some glasses cannot be mixed with your jars or bottles. Do not throw in the same garbage bins: •Broken windows •Mirrors, because of the reflective surface that cannot be recycled like glass •Ceramics and porcelain, because the melting temperature is much higher than for the glass •Drinking glasses that are made from lead oxide, a harmful material that cannot be recycled

PET beverage bottles

The PET recycling process is simple and many Swiss people (83%) already recycle their bottles.

Flatten them to make them smaller, this will reduce the number of trips needed to get them to recycling sites.

To go even further, reduce your consumption by investing in a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water. Soon, you will find on our blog all our tips for a more ecological and environment-friendly way of life.

And how are our PET bottles recycled?

We found a short video for you that explains why PET beverage bottles should not be mixed with other bottles.

Plastic material

Unlike PET, PE bottles are made of white plastic (milk, cream or yoghurt drinks, etc.). These can also be recycled, but they are separated from PET bottles.

Tinplate / sheet steel

Tinplate is used to produce cans, and it's recyclable! Don't waste time cleaning them, the recycling temperature is so high that paper and food scraps will disintegrate on their own.

Aluminium coffee capsules

Recycling coffee capsules has several benefits! Aluminium recycling makes it possible to produce new capsules. And as far as coffee grounds are concerned, they have an energy potential 3 to 5 times higher than wood, in addition to being a very good fertilizer!

And if you are interested in recycling coffee capsules, here is a short video detailing the process.


Aluminium is present everywhere, in the form of leaves, trays (especially those for our animal friends), cans, tubes (mustard or mayonnaise for example).

If you have a doubt between tinplate and aluminium, it doesn't matter! Recycling plants, with their huge magnets, can separate the two.

Special waste

Like chemicals, medicines are very harmful to the environment. Do not flush them down the toilet, think of the fishes in the lakes and the people who drink groundwater. If you no longer need your medication, the best thing to do is to bring it back to the pharmacy.

Textiles and shoes

Your old clothes don't deserve to be thrown in the garbage! Remember to bring them back to the store (for example to the Coop or the Migros. You can also drop them off at collection points so that charities can redistribute them to people in need.

Think, for example, of TEXAID, which collects about 40,000 tonnes of used textiles each year for associations such as the Swiss Red Cross, die Schweizer Winterhilfe or Kolping Switzerland.

Electronic and electrical equipment

The Anticipated Recycling Tax (ATR) is a tax that was introduced in 2003 to finance the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment. It is included in the sale price. As a result, anyone can drop off their devices at collection points for transport and recycling.

Light sources

Because they contain many harmful for the environment products, as well as electronics, lamps must be brought back to the stores where they are purchased in order to be recycled.

Batteries and accumulators

Batteries are very harmful to the environment and should not be thrown in the garbage. Unlike what you might think, there are no "green" ones. Even the most ecological batteries contain products that are dangerous for the planet. Incineration will not make them disappear and everything will end up in the air, soil and water.

It is necessary to recycle, if we do not do so then nature itself will have to do it. And the natural degradation of our waste takes much longer as you can see below.

Infographic: Plastic Can Take 500 Years To Bio-Degrade In The Ocean | Statista