The Swiss PET recycling association has been hard at work with municipalities, retailers, schools and transport network operators expanding the number of PET collection points in the hope of closing this gap.
In 2019, an additional 3,000 PET collection points were created and a further 1,000 are planned, according to the association.
In addition, a new less energy intensive recycling plant in Bilten (GL) opened in April 2019.
More good news is the rise in the average percentage of recycled PET in Swiss plastic bottles. This jumped from 30% to 40% during 2019. Some bottles on the market are now 100% recycled PET, known as R-PET.
The Swiss PET recycling association is supported by 98% of the companies involved in the bottled drinks industry in Switzerland, according to its website. Its committee members include: Coca-Cola, Coop, Danone-Waters (Evian), Rivella, Feldschlosschen, Nestle Waters, Migros and Volg Konsumwaren.
These companies have a clear interest in making sure the plastic trash their products create doesn’t end up in the wrong places and risk causing a public backlash.
However, championing recycling has hallmarks of the red herring fallacy, a device used in debate to shift the discussion away from the original question.
If we start with the question: how can we reduce the waste from single-use plastic-packaged drinks? The most obvious answer is to avoid buying them. This avoids not only the plastic waste, but also the pollution associated with creating, moving and recycling them.
However, the bottled water sector appears to have shifted the question to: how can we recycle better?, thus dodging an answer they don’t like, which is to stop buying their products.
So how can we reduce the waste from single-use plastic packaged drinks? One way is to keep a refillable water bottle with you. It’s cheaper, healthier and easier on the environment than buying and recycling plastic.
And, it’s surprisingly easy to get tap-water refills at many food retailers. After all, how many businesses want to lose your custom or risk becoming known on social media as environmental party poopers that won’t help you cut down on single-use plastic.