Can cardboard and paper be recycled together?

Paper and cardboard

Waste paper is a raw material and not a waste. By improving the machine and paper quality, the proportion of waste paper in the various types of paper and cardboard has been steadily increased. A paper fiber can go through several recycling processes.

Separate collection

To be collected:

Paper *

  • Book pages without cover (cover and back) - only content pages
  • Computer lists
  • Paper envelopes (with and without window)
  • Photocopies
  • Illustrated magazines (please remove the film from welded products)
  • Correspondence paper
  • Note paper
  • Brochures
  • Writing papers (white papers and recycled papers)
  • Paperback books (with a wood-free fiber cover)
  • Telephone books
  • Advertising matter
  • Newspapers
  • Newspaper supplements
  • Light-colored paper carrier bags folded, without wet strength agent (do not use as a collection container)
  • Tracing paper, technical drawing paper
  • Instructions and descriptions on paper (e.g. for cosmetics)

Carton *

  • Cardboard or corrugated cardboard envelopes
  • Egg carton
  • Flat cardboard boxes
  • Fruit cartons (if without wax coating)
  • Vegetable boxes (if without wax coating)
  • Gray cardboard
  • Cardboard and cardboard boxes (clean)
  • Wrapping paper
  • Corrugated cardboard and corrugated cardboard boxes (clean)
  • Folded paper carrier bags (do not use as a collection container)
  • Detergent boxes (empty, disassembled)
  • Sugar and jelly sugar sachets (empty, folded)
  • Cardboard containers (e.g. as sales packaging for cosmetics)

* Depending on the end user of your collection point, the packaging belongs to another separate collection. Please inform yourself about this at your municipality or collection point.

Please note:

  • Use string and not paper bags, plastic or adhesive tape to bundle the material.
  • If the material tears slightly, you can easily see whether there is a plastic layer, because in this case the paper / cardboard does not tear completely.

Household waste includes:

  • Parchment paper
  • Flower paper
  • Pizza boxes
  • coated paper and cardboard with thin plastic film
  • Photo books
  • Feed sacks
  • Soup bags
  • Boxes of frozen products
  • dirty cardboard
  • wet strength paper
  • Butcher papers (silicone paper)
  • Napkins
  • Plastic coated paper
  • Beverage carton (Tetrapak)
  • Adhesive labels or tapes

Where is collected

Depending on the collection system, paper and cardboard can be disposed of together or separately at the community collection point. In some communities, the materials are even picked up at the front door.

How is collected

Paper and cardboard should always be collected separately. The separation at the source has significant advantages for the quality of the secondary raw materials, increases the environmental benefits and meets the requirements of the paper industry. You can find details on this in our fact sheet.

Paper and cardboard - separate vs. mixed collection

Benefits of recycling

This group also has ecological and economic advantages: the recycling of paper and cardboard is more environmentally friendly than the production of new fibers. At the same time, waste paper is a cheap raw material without which the Swiss paper and board industry would be called into question. The collection rate is 81.7% (2019).

Further key figures and information on collection rates, recycling rates, etc. can be found at