Returning reusable materials to the cycle

Many types of waste are reusable materials, which we collect and sort and which are then recycled into new raw materials. At Coop, we separate 32 different types of reusable materials.

We train our employees to keep the recycling rate high and, where possible, to further increase it. Each point of sale has a disposal concept specific to it and the sales format involved. Thanks to rigorous waste management, we currently have a recycling rate of over 80 percent.

Biogas from organic waste

Whenever we are able and the regulations permit, we pass on to farmers food that is no longer fit for consumption and leftover food from our restaurants for use as animal feed. The lion's share of our organic waste is fermented to produce biogas. Some of our trucks use biogas as a CO2-neutral fuel. The digestate created during biogas production is used as fresh compost and liquid fertilizer for agriculture. Even spoiled, packaged foods can be cleanly separated from the packaging material and recycled at state-of-the-art fermentation plants.

The limits of separate collection

Politicians are increasingly calling for a greater number of different packaging materials to be separately collected and recycled. Waste recycling in Switzerland owes its success to the division of labour between retailers and municipal authorities that collect glass, aluminium, tin cans, aluminium Nespresso pods, textiles, etc. If additional waste materials are to be separately collected, the overall eco-efficiency of the proposal needs to be carefully analysed.

We are working towards a higher recycling rate with the following partners:

Swiss Recycling: Swiss Recycling is the umbrella association of recycling organizations.

The Ferro Recycling association: The Ferro Recycling association promotes the recycling of tin cans. Coop is a founding member and a member of its Board.

Igora Cooperative: The Igora cooperative promotes the recycling of aluminium packaging. Coop is a member and a member of its Board.

Inobat: Inobat is responsible for the collection management and administration of the prepaid disposal charge on batteries, including storage batteries.

PET Recycling Switzerland Association (PRS): The PET-Recycling Schweiz association (PRS) organizes the collection of PET bottles and recycles them. Coop is a member and a member of its Board.

Sens and Swico: Sens and Swico organize the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment and the disposal of consumer electronics, electronic office equipment and mobile phones.

Swiss Light Recycling Foundation (SLRS): The SLRS was set up to administer and finance the environmentally friendly disposal of lamps and lighting equipment. It works closely with the Swiss Waste Disposal Foundation (SENS):

Vetro Swiss: Vetro Swiss is mandated by the Swiss government to collect the prepaid disposal charge on drinks packaging made from glass and pay it to the appropriate parties.

Tell-Tex: Tell-Tex is one of Switzerland's biggest clothing collectors and has for decades been synonymous with reliable services using state-of-the-art technology.

Texaid: Texaid is Switzerland's leading organization involved in the collection, sorting and recycling of used textiles.

The Paper and Cardboard Recycling association (Recycling Papier und Karton): This association promotes the efficient recycling of paper and cardboard recycling in Switzerland.

Energy thanks to recycling at our partner Recycling Energie AG

Green electricity production at Bösch Herisau

Principles and topics