Waste and recycling

Recycling and waste management contribute to the responsible use of resources. That is why our customers will find recycling points at all of our sales outlets.

We systematically sort more than 25 different reusable materials in our sales outlets, distribution centres and production facilities for recycling, enabling us to achieve a recycling rate of 81 percent. What is more, we are continuously working on using fewer packaging materials and on making these easier to recycle.

Avoid, recycle and properly dispose of waste

To reduce the amount of household waste for our customers, we are constantly working on using fewer packaging materials. For waste to be disposed of correctly, it must be sorted when it is collected. We therefore collect and recycle the PET bottles, plastic bottles, cartridges, batteries and other reusable materials brought back to stores by our customers, as well as our internal transport packaging.

We have also been working closely with Swiss Recycling's circular economy platform since 2020: together with partners in the value chain, we draw up "design" for recycling guidelines. The goal is to reduce the variety of materials in plastic packaging in particular and, by doing so, make the packaging easier to recycle. Here you will find examples where we have changed over to packaging that can be recycled better.

Systematic waste management

Thanks to our systematic format-specific and store-specific waste management in sales outlets, distribution centres and production facilities, we have been able to slash the volume of waste over the past years and raise the recycling rate to 81 percent. Many types of waste are reusable materials which we collect by type and which are then recycled into new raw materials. We sort 25 different types of reusable materials which are returned to sales outlets or generated internally, and train our employees in order to maintain a high recycling rate and increase this rate if possible. As well as benefiting the environment, this systematic recycling also saves on costs.

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 their packaging material and recycled at state-of-the-art fermentation plants.

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 coffee pods, textiles and many other materials. If additional waste materials are to be separately collected, the overall eco-efficiency of the proposal needs to be carefully analysed. That is why we are working actively with numerous partners from the areas of production, retail and recycling within Swiss Recycling's circular economy platform to build up a coordinated, properly-funded and ecologically sound collection concept for mixed plastics in Switzerland.

  • 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.
  • 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 AGJakob Bösch AG, Biogas Ticino SA and other regional partners generate clean green electricity from leftover food in Switzerland.

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 sales outlets and empty the waste bins there.
  • Through the prepaid recycling fees, we finance the collection and recycling of PET bottles and aluminium from public collection points.
  • Together with our partner the IGSU, we raise awareness among customers with communication campaigns. We also support the IGSU with the Coop challenge trophy to encourage involvement on IGSU Clean-up Days.