A recent report from Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) puts annual plastic pollution at 5.12 million kilograms in Switzerland, a figure that excludes plastic pollution from vehicle tires – road abrasion creates tire fragments, which are significant source of environmental plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution represents around 0.7% of the 710 million kilograms of plastic consumed in Switzerland every year.
Most (85%) of the pollution is micro plastic, pieces of plastic 5mm or less in diametre.
In Switzerland, plastic pollution of the soil is 40 times that of water. Major drivers of soil pollution are littering, agriculture, construction, plastic entering the soil via composting, and micro plastics shed while washing synthetic clothing.
Washing synthetic clothing is one of the largest generators of micro plastic pollution. Opting for clothing made from natural fibres over synthetic ones can help. Installing a micro plastic filter to your washing machine is a valuable investment in the health of the environment too.