Zurich, Switzerland

Freitag Shop, Zurich

Summer 2011

In 2011 I visited my brother who was living just outside Zurich, Switzerland.  One of our activities was to take a trip to the recycling center.  We gathered up all the (cloth) shopping bags we could find and loaded them with the glass, plastic, paper, and aluminum that had been collecting in the kitchen and headed out to the shopping center.  At one end of the parking garage were large bins labeled for all the different types of items.  We managed to get rid of everything although some of the pictures were a little confusing.

According to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs:

The Swiss are champion recyclers. In 2003, 47% of all urban waste was recycled – a new Swiss record. They recycled 70% of paper, 95% of glass, 71% of plastic bottles, 85-90% of aluminum cans and 75% of tin cans. 

So recycling has become a Swiss way of life.

We discovered a company called Freitag that produced purses, messenger bags, tote bags, wallets, backpacks and even iPhone sleeves all made from recycled goods. They use old truck tarpaulins, used bicycle tires, seatbelts. Every bag is hand made. Even their shop is made out of old semi containers.

The bags are a common sight across Switzerland.

Purse and wallet

Messenger bag

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