National Council of Switzerland calls for plastics levy / Lower house wants 25% recyclate rate for packaging by 2025
The Environment Committee of the Swiss National Council (ESPEC) seeks to create incentives to increase the proportion of recycled material in packaging for beverages and cleaning agents. A motion passed on 1 September 2020 calls for the country’s Federal Council to introduce by 2025 a tax on disposable plastic products with packaging containing less than 25% recycled material. The goal is to create incentives for the increased use of recycled materials and to make products in this type of packaging the preferred option. The lower-house committee argues that polyethylene and PET are already collected today and can be recycled without any loss of quality. However, the recyclates are currently not competitive with virgin material due to the higher prices.

Meanwhile, the “Sammelsack” recycling project that was recently announced by Swiss retail company Migros ( has been put on hold. The aim was for the Swiss population to start collecting plastics waste at home and then drop it off at one of the country’s more than 1,100 Migros locations. According to Swiss media reports, Migros failed to obtain concessions in time from the cantons and municipalities, which have a monopoly on municipal waste (see of 30.06.2020).

With more than 700 kg of waste per person annually, Switzerland is one of the world’s leading countries for the amount of trash produced per capita. To date, only half of the waste is recycled. Calls for strengthening the recycling industry were on the rise before the latest initiative – ESPEC launched an initiative to amend the Swiss Environmental Protection Act on 19 May 2020 (see of 27.05.2020). Meanwhile, a EU-wide levy on non-recycled, single-use plastic products and packaging is becoming increasingly likely (see of 22.07.2020 and 28.07.2020); countries such as Italy, Spain and the UK have already taken steps toward national taxes on plastics.
14.09.2020 [245864-0]
Published on 14.09.2020
Kunststoffverpackungen: Schweizer Nationalrat fordert KunststoffsteuerGerman version of this article...

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