Joining forces to fight litter

Interest Group for a Clean Environment (IGSU) launched in Switzerland

The Swiss private-sector organisations IGORA (IGORA Co-operative for Aluminium Recycling) and PET Recycling Schweiz launched a joint anti-litter campaign three years ago. This year they are being joined in their efforts for the first time by VetroSwiss, the organisation responsible for promoting the recycling of glass packaging. Activities include education work on dealing with waste and recyclables by three ambassadors, cinema ads and poster campaigns with evocative slogans, and general information work. These activities will be carried out in stages from the end of May. The two campaign initiators (IGORA and PET) now wish to broaden their anti-litter efforts and have therefore established the Interest Group for a Clean Environment (IGSU).

The original impetus for the campaign was a study conducted by the University of Basle in 2004 that revealed that 30 percent of the waste generated in public spaces ends up as litter. In other words it is simply thrown on the ground instead of being placed in council waste bins or taken to separate collection points. Typical waste items are take-away packaging, newspapers and magazines, cigarette ends, chewing gum, serviettes and drinks containers, etc. The causes of litter are many and varied: changing consumption and dietary habits, laziness, selfishness, an increasing lack of consideration for others and the growing number of events held in public places.

Open platform 
Buoyed by their initial success in the battle against the scourge of litter, IGORA and PET Recycling Schweiz now wish to take their efforts a step further by setting up the IGSU.
The aim is to create an open platform in the fight against litter and win additional partners from consumer-oriented sectors and recycling businesses for the purpose of taking joint action. Daniel Frischknecht, head of marketing at IGORA and one of the initiators of the IGSU, said: "In setting up the IGSU we are offering companies an opportunity to come together and campaign for a clean environment. We hope to achieve a lot, not least by enhancing our public profile and presence at litter blackspots. We want to see a neat and tidy Switzerland again and at the same time foster sustainable use of our resources." 

Wide support 
IGORA and PET Recycling Schweiz have received wide backing for their initiative. Since the launch of the IGSU more than 700 municipalities, towns and cities have supported their collective efforts against litter by staging regional activities and providing information. Hans-Peter Fahrni, head of department with responsibility for waste and recycling at the Federal Office for the Environment (BAFU), is another who takes a positive view of the launch of the IGSU: "We are delighted that private recycling organisations have taken the initiative and joined forces in the battle against litter." 

Working together for tomorrow today 
There is no doubt that action needs to be taken, then. The IGSU wishes to put a stop to the careless discarding of litter. It also aims to provide comprehensive information on why it makes sense to collect and recycle reusable materials and how to properly dispose of various types of waste. Primarily, the activities of the IGSU should motivate consumers to show more responsibility in dealing with waste. After use everything is to end up in the right place, i.e. waste in the waste bin and drinks containers at one of the many bring-to sites provided.

Zurich, 30 May 2007 
Queries should be addressed to:
IGORA-Genossenschaft: Daniel Frischknecht: 044 387 50 10
PET-Recycling Schweiz: Jean-Claude Würmli: 044 344 10 80
Der Medientext ist unter www.igora.ch/medien und www.petrecycling.ch/medien abrufbar. Weitere Informationen auch unter www.igsu.ch/d/news.htm

Legende zum Bild: Landesweite Plakatkampagnen rufen für eine saubere Umwelt auf.

 Press release as PDF »


IGORA-Genossenschaft für Aluminium-Recycling, Bellerivestrasse 28, Postfach, 8034 Zürich 
Telefon 044 387 50 10, Telefax 044 387 50 11, info[at]igora.chwww.igora.ch 
Verein PRS PET-Recycling Schweiz, Naglerwiesenstrasse 4, 8049 Zürich 
Telefon 044 344 10 91, Telefax 044 344 10 99, info[at]prs.chwww.petrecycling.ch