Circular economy

Plastic packaging, 900 thousand tons collected in 2015

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Data presented by Corepla and Legambiente: the most efficient region is Veneto, with 23 kg per head. Best practices also in the South.

About 900 thousand tons: this is the amount of plastic packaging collected in 2015 by Corepla, the consortium in charge for the recovery of plastic in Italy. The average is 15.1 kg per head, a clear improvement compared to the 13.9 kg of last year. The best results were recorded in Veneto, with an increase from 21 to 23 kg per head. Waste sorting, however, wouldn’t be as effective without recycling: in 2015 as low as 0.8% of all collected waste ended up in landfills.

These are the figures and best practices of plastic recycling that were recently presented in Rome during a conference on plastic recycling in Italy organized by Corepla and Legambiente.

The meeting, which was introduced by Corepla president Giorgio Quagliuolo and Legambiente president Rossella Muroni, was attended among others by Mauro Libé, the Political Councillor for the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea; Edo Ronchi, the president of the Foundation for Sustainable Development (Fondazione per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile); Roberto Sancinelli, the president of Montello S.p.a.; Antonio Diana, the president of Erreplast S.r.l.

Guests of the round table on circular economy included Simona Bonafé (MEP and vice-president of the Long-term Investment Intergroup), Ermete Realacci (president of the Environment, Territory and Public Works Commission for the House of Deputies), Giuseppe Marinello (president of the Environment, Territory and Environmental Heritage Commission for the Senate), and Roberto De Santis (president of Conai).

“We plan on collecting a total of 1 million tons in 2017. The results achieved in the South, +14% in 2015, make us really proud. We are proud of a system that was among the first ones in Europe to extend collection and recycling to all kinds of plastic package – declared Corepla president Giorgio Quagliuolo – Working with a non-profit logic, Corepla didn’t limit itself to collecting the most valuable kinds of packaging, such as PET bottles. Across the years we worked with other packaging categories that many other European countries don’t recycle and simply incinerate or dump in landfills, due to economic reasons. Our choice allowed us to experiment the selection of new kinds of packaging, which eventually led to a well-established and highly automated recycling chain able to produce thousands of jobs, an example of excellence for the whole of Europe. We would also like to highlight another aspect that helped us become circular economy protagonists within the EU: Corepla chose to deliver its material only to recycling plants on the European territory that are selected through an audit, so as to certify their actual recycling capacity, and have the European Eucertplast certificate”.

Plastic recycling plays a key role in the circular economy, and Italy has the potential to do even better, drawing inspiration from the best practices which already exist across the country. One such example is Montello S.p.a. from Bergamo: form simple manufacturers of iron rings for reinforced concrete, they turned into one of the main protagonists of the treatment and recycling of plastic packaging. After this reconversion, the firm considerably increased the number of its employees (300 in 1996, 553 today) and aims at expanding even more. Best practices can be found even in problematic areas: that is the case of SRI – ERREPLAST from Gricignano di Aversa, in the region of Campania. The company was established in 1985 by Mario Diana, an entrepreneur later murdered by the Casalesi, a local mafia clan: today, the company has become one of the most innovative selection and recycling hubs for plastic packaging in Italy.

For more information, visit the website of Corepla

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