Waste Encyclopedia

PET drinking bottles

Why can’t I throw my PET shampoo bottle and my plastic milk bottle in this trash?

For hygienic and recycling quality reasons, only PET drinking bottles are welcome in the PET recycling garbage. It allows for the bottles to be melted and reshaped into drinking bottles. If you add PET containers that had other things, the recycled product could have a taste. If you add other plastics, the recycled product could be less resistant and break. Thanks to you, PET drinking bottles are re-cycled and not down-cycled into the same product.

So, what do I do with the other PET containers and other plastic containers?

In Switzerland, you can throw those away in the mixed plastic container available at your nearest Migros. This is down-cycled into less valuable plastic-based products.

Anything else I should know?

Soft plastic such as plastic bags or plastic wrapping has no recycling value and must therefore be placed in the domestic waste. In Switzerland most of that waste is burned to produce energy, heat for remote heating, and clinker as well as toxic gases that must be treated. It is a better environmental solution than placing it in a landfill, but it is not ideal.

Great so here is my iced tea bottle, I’ll put it in here.

Sure, but remember, air out and cap on. It is costly to transport air because it takes a lot of space. If you flatten your bottle, the recycling is less environmentally costly because the transportation is more efficient.

PET drinking bottles

Number of years to decompose in nature

Weight produced in Switzerland (tons)

Percentage recycled in Switzerland

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