What is rubbish – and what can be recycled?

Kim Berrendorf
August 21, 2019
Sustainability
Not everything is rubbish. Much of what we throw away contains valuable waste materials that can be reused. To incinerate these materials would be to waste them.

Avoid. Recycle. Eliminate.

Recycling or upcycling saves resources and money. Materials like glass, paper, cardboard, wood, plastics and metals can be processed and reused to produce new products.

Most of us pay for refuse sacks, and if these are not filled with waste that can be disposed of separately, that saves space and drastically reduces the number of waste bags required.

Good examples of this are collection bags for plastic waste, such as food packaging, shampoo bottles and carrier bags, or the free take-back schemes used by the retail sector (e.g. Coop and Migros) for plastic bottles like cleaning agent bottles and shampoo bottles.

Some 2.83 kg of CO² is generated by burning 1 kg of plastics, and these emissions are exactly why plastics should not be burnt. Moreover, 1 kg of recycled plastics saves up to 3 litres of crude oil, which in turn reduces oil extraction.

But the top priority when it comes to waste is avoiding it altogether, wherever possible.

What Baloise is doing

Employees are not responsible for worrying about Baloise’s waste – unless they are in Logistics, then it is their job. But they depend on the cooperation of their colleagues, because ultimately sorted recycling will only work if we all separate our waste properly.

Baloise collects the following materials separately:

  • paper
  • cardboard
  • plastic cups
  • PET
  • glass and aluminium
  • liquid and residual waste
  • batteries
  • printer cartridges
  • plastic packaging like polystyrene

Baloise endeavours to ensure an effective infrastructure for recycling its own waste. A new recycling and waste disposal system which is being introduced in the new builds of Baloise Park is to act as a focal point to further simplify recycling for staff. Furthermore, the option of running a paperless office is intended to also promote the avoidance of waste. Our SV staff restaurant is always trying out new approaches to reduce packaging, too. Reusable cutlery and cups are just one example of this. But, ultimately, it is down to me and you. If we do not take responsibility for our own actions, it does not matter how many useful approaches and waste reduction solutions we are offered; it will only work if we make use of these and play our part.