Norms and regulations

Environmental norms, Italy goes green

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Definitive approval of the decree that supports recycling and reusing and penalizes landfills. A summary.

After long discussions between the Senate and the Chamber, Italy officially passed the law on the environment (“Collegato Ambientale”). The document that was definitively approved by the Chamber is technically a bill containing “dispositions on environmental matters that aim at promoting green economy measures and limiting the excessive use of natural resources”. The bill was approved with 169 “yes”, 31 “no” and 11 abstentions.

The law covers a broad range of environmental issues: waste management, environmental impact assessment, sustainable mobility and material reusing. Below is a quick summary of the main points concerning more specifically the circular economy:


The law supports waste sorting, promotes the reduction of non-sorted waste and penalizes landfill dumping. With regard to this point, the environmental bill defines precise targets: within one year of the commencement of the bill, each Region is required to draft and approve a program for the reduction of the amount of biodegradable waste dumped in landfills, so as to achieve the following goals:

  • in 5 years, biodegradable waste in landfills will have to be less than 173 kg/inhabitant
  • in 8 years, it will have to be less than 115 kg/inhabitant
  • in 15 years, it will have to be less than 81 kg/inhabitant

Moreover, the bill sets forth the prohibition to throw in the streets cigarette butts, chewing gums and similar small litter such as tissues and receipts. In addition to that, bottle deposit comes back in cafes and restaurants as voluntary and experimental practice for beer and mineral water producers.


The bill introduces incentives for enterprises that produce goods deriving from recycled materials or from scrap recovery and recovery of materials resulting from the disassembly of complex products. Priority is given to goods made from waste, including WEEE (electronic waste), tires and plastics coming from end-of-life products. The amount of the incentives and tax deductions, as well as the minimum percentage of recycled material that must be contained in new products, will be established 6 months after the date of coming into force of the law. The bill also defines the incentivisation tools and measures for commerce and for the purchase of products and components that aim at extending the life cycle of goods.


For what concerns photovoltaic modules marketed after the commencement date of the environmental bill, WEEE management systems (which are in charge of the management of solar panels) will be required to adopt a financial security system and a geolocalization system similar to the systems established by the GSE authority in the guidelines adopted in December 2012 with regard to the recovery and recycling of end-of-life photovoltaic modules.


The by-products deriving from sugar fermentation and the by-products deriving from the processing or refining of vegetable oils are included in the list of by-products that can be used in biomass and biogas facilities to obtain access to the environmental incentives.


It will be easier for the public administration to be supplied with environmental friendly products: companies holding an EMAS or UNI EN ISO 14001 environmental certification will be granted a reduction of the guarantees required to access public procurements for the sale of eco-friendly goods and services. Moreover, the bill clearly defines the Minimum Environmental Criteria that must be respected in public administration supplies of computers, printers, photocopy paper, AC systems, cartridges and toners, restaurant services, cleaning services.


This new strategy involves rural and mountain communities that decide to take up a new sustainable course. Among the actions that could be undertook there are: energy production from local renewable sources, sustainable tourism, sustainable construction, integration of mobility systems, integrated and certified management of water resources.


The environmental bill introduces a new voluntary brand: Made Green in Italy. This logo concerns the environmental footprint of products and aims at promoting the certification of “zero km” local production and the sustainability of agricultural and industrial production systems.

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