Switzerland’s biggest canton has voted to adopt a new article to promote a cleaner and more efficient use of resources.
Zurich’s cantonal government proposed the idea as an alternative to an initiative by the young Green Party, and it was met with overwhelming approval. Just under 90% of Zurich citizens on Sunday said yes, and all political parties were in favour of the idea.
Now, the canton’s constitution will be adapted to include an article calling on authorities to create frameworks for a “considerate treatment of resources, materials, and goods, as well as the closing of materials loops”.
As a result, authorities hope the article will lead to more attention being paid to the question of how raw materials are used, and re-used. It’s also assumed that gains in efficiency will help to reduce not only waste, but also energy use.
According to a report in The Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper, each resident of Zurich produces an average of three tonnes of waste each year; two tonnes of this is then recycled. Most waste comes from the construction sector, the paper says.
Zurich is the first of the 26 Swiss cantons to include the circular economy in its constitution. Earlier this month, Bern’s cantonal parliament accepted a Green Party postulate calling for the setting up of more infrastructure and incentives to boost the circular economy.