May 7, 2024

Which paper and cardboard packaging can be recycled in Switzerland?

Together with Swiss Recycle, we have produced the white paper "Paper and cardboard - a general overview". This provides information on current international standards and national criteria for the recyclability of lightweight paper and cardboard packaging. With the common understanding thus created, further whitepapers or guidelines can be developed.

Which paper and cardboard packaging is recyclable in Switzerland? How should lightweight packaging such as paper and cardboard composite packaging be assessed? As part of the Paper & Cardboard specialist group of the Circular Economy Products and Materials platform, we have worked with Swiss Recycle to produce the white paper "Paper and cardboard - a general overview". The facts compiled are based on international standards and national criteria.  

Status Quo 

The quantity and quality of paper and cardboard collected in Switzerland is traditionally high. Collection is organized by municipalities and special-purpose associations in cooperation with transport and recycling companies. The criteria for collection are defined by the Recycling Paper and Cardboard Association (RPK) in the positive/negative list


Due to circular economy targets in the EU countries, more and more packaging made of paper and cardboard composites is being placed on the market as lightweight packaging. If these are incorrectly identified as recyclable by end consumers, they end up in the paper and cardboard collection stream. This reduces the collection quality, as lightweight packaging is currently not recyclable in Switzerland (Model and Perlen factories) and must be recycled via the waste incineration plant. It is therefore recommended that this packaging be labeled with the appropriate waste bag pictogram (see product labeling guidelines).

We recommend having the actual recyclability checked in practice by means of laboratory tests or test criteria of the Model and Perlen factories - whenever possible before the market launch of new packaging.

Aim of the white paper 

In order to maintain high collection quality in Switzerland, the white paper aims to create a common understanding of relevant international standards and national criteria that influence the recyclability of paper and cardboard packaging.  

The white paper is now available online and can be downloaded free of charge here or from our knowledge website. The continuous development of this white paper is essential. If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us!  

Download white paper "Paper and cardboard - a general overview"

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