On average each resident of Switzerland leaves 95 kg of plastic waste behind them in a year, according to a report by Oceancare. This figure places Switzerland ahead Germany, Austria, France and Italy, reported RTS.
Oceancare used 2010 statistics from Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment to compile the data.
Ewoud Lauwerier, one of the studies authors, explained how the level of waste is linked to GDP. Given that Switzerland has very high consumption it isn’t surprising that it has such high plastic waste, said Lauwerier.
According to the report, much of the plastic waste ends up in the soil, rivers and lakes and has an environmental cost of around CHF 200 million a year. Much of it cannot be collected because it ends up as micro plastic.
The largest source of micro plastic (14,000 tonnes p.a.) comes from vehicle tyre wear. Tyre wear accounts for 8,900 tonnes annually. The second largest amount of plastic waste (2,700 tonnes p.a.) comes from litter.
In Lake Geneva alone, 55 tonnes of plastic waste are added every year.
What should be done? According to Lauwerier, Switzerland has the required laws. It just need to apply them.