Waste and recycling

We are committed to the responsible use of resources. We provide recycling stations for customers at our sales outlets and are constantly working on using fewer packaging materials. We systematically separate, then recycle more than 25 reusable materials, enabling us to achieve a recycling rate of 81%.

Preventing, recycling and correctly disposing of waste

Our targeted waste management has enabled us to massively reduce the quantity of our waste over the last few years and to increase the recycling rate at distribution centres and our own manufacturing companies to 81 percent. As well as benefiting the environment, systematic recycling also saves on costs.

To reduce the amount of waste generated at home by our customers, we are constantly working on using fewer packaging materials. For waste to be disposed of correctly, it must be separated when it is collected. We therefore collect and recycle the PET bottles and plastic bottles, cartridges, batteries and other reusable materials brought back to stores by our customers, as well as our internal transport packaging, into up to 32 separate categories of waste material.

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 25 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 81 percent.

Biogas from organic waste

Whenever we are able and 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.
  • Swiss Recycling is the umbrella association of recycling organizations.
  • The Ferro Recycling association promotes the recycling of tin cans. Coop is a founding member and has a seat on its Board.
  • The Igora Cooperative promotes the recycling of aluminium packaging. Coop is a member and has a seat on its Board.
  • Inobat is responsible for the collection, management and administration of the prepaid disposal charge on batteries, including storage batteries.
  • PET-Recycling Switzerland (PRS) organizes the collection of PET bottles and recycles them. Coop is a member and has a seat on its Board.
  • Sens and Swico organize the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment and the disposal of consumer electronics, electronic office equipment and mobile phones.
  • The Swiss Light Recycling Foundation (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 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 is one of Switzerland's biggest clothing collectors and has for decades been synonymous with reliable services using state-of-the-art technology.
  • Texaid is Switzerland's leading organization involved in the collection, sorting and recycling of used textiles.
  • The Paper and Cardboard Recycling association promotes the efficient recycling of paper and cardboard in Switzerland.
  • Recycling Energie AG and Jakob Bösch AG produce green electricity from leftover food waste in Switzerland.

Voluntary commitment to combating litter

Carelessly discarded waste in public areas and by the side of roads costs around 200 million Swiss francs, according to estimates by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). More than anything, however, it detracts from our quality of life. We are committed to taking the initiative and sharing information about the social problem of littering. For many years, we have been working with authorities, local offices and the IGSU Interest Group for a Clean Environment to introduce effective solutions to littering.

  • We regularly clean the areas around our points of sale and empty the waste bins.
  • Through the prepaid recycling fees, we finance the collection and recycling of PET bottles and aluminium from public collection points.
  • With our partner IGSU, we conduct communication campaigns to raise customer awareness.