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Investigating Switzerland’s attitude towards recycling

A study carried out on behalf of Swiss Recycling

Over the past few years, the Swiss Recycling Association has conducted several quantitative studies to assess Swiss people’s attitudes, knowledge and habits with regard to recycling. However, these approaches only allowed very general conclusions to be drawn about the kinds of motivators and barriers which affect the population’s recycling habits.

We have therefore conducted ethnographic interviews and set up a focus group to investigate this. We surveyed men and women between the ages of 25 and 35 with various levels of education, family and housing situations and recycling habits.

The study allowed us to identify different motivators and barriers that affect people’s recycling habits for each recyclable material. This ethnographic approach was especially useful for revealing discrepancies between participants’ attitudes and their actual recycling habits.

We recommended specific action points for the Swiss Recycling Association based on the more detailed understanding of the motivators and, even more importantly, the barriers affect people’s recycling habits, which we acquired through the research. These recommendations pertain just as much to the practice of recycling as to the further development and centralisation of related communications.

Project dates

Manager and team

Prof. Anne Herrmann


Swiss Recycling


February 2016 – September 2016


Prof. Dr. Anne Herrmann
Prof. Dr. Anne Herrmann

Head of Institute for Market Supply and Consumer Decision-Making

Telephone +41 62 957 27 46 (direct)