Assessment of composters based on the 2021 Municipal Waste Report. Per-capita collection of food waste, which also includes compostable bioplastic packaging, is essentially unchanged in Italy at around 88.3 kg per inhabitant.
The pandemic also had a major impact on trends in municipal waste production, collection and management, including the organic waste and compostable bioplastic packaging sector. This is according to the CIC – the Italian Composting and Biogas Association – based on the 2021 Municipal Waste Report by ISPRA, the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research. According to the report, the overall figure for municipal waste production, at 28,945,000 tonnes, is the lowest recorded in Italy since tracking of waste totals began. Regarding organic waste, while separately-collected organic waste has increased by an average of 7% per year over the past 10 years, in 2020 there was an overall reduction in separate collection compared with the previous year of around 125,000 tonnes, therefore slightly less than 2 per cent of the 7.3 million tonnes collected in 2019. Most of the fall in collection is attributable to the green waste (87,000 tonnes), while food waste declined by only 38,000 tonnes; per capita collection is essentially unchanged at around 88.3 kg/inhabitant. CIC's analysis shows that Italy is divided in two: in small and medium-sized municipalities – particularly those with a population of fewer than 1,000 inhabitants and those with between 5,000 and 10,000 inhabitants – organic waste collection between 2019 and 2020 increased by between 1 and 8 kg per inhabitant. And in absolute terms, collection increased by over 62,000 tonnes in municipalities with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants. This growth was offset by a fall of over 100,000 tonnes in large municipalities. “This is the result of the interruption of commuting to big cities, where for months no meals were eaten in company canteens or bars and restaurants, as well as the drastic reduction in international tourism and the concomitant growth in the population actually living in small satellite municipalities,” said the CIC. According to the ISPRA Municipal Waste Report, organic waste including compostable bioplastic packaging accounts for the highest proportion of waste collected in Italy, at 39.3% of the total. Of this total organic waste, 68.4% consists of food waste from kitchens and canteens (4.9 million tonnes), 27.1% (1.9 million tonnes) is biodegradable waste from parks and garden maintenance, 3.8% (275,000 tonnes) is waste recycled through home composting and 0.7% (about 49,000 tonnes) is waste from markets. The highest per capita production was in Emilia-Romagna, with 640 kg per inhabitant per year, albeit 3.5% lower than in 2019. The lowest per capita production was recorded in Basilicata (345 kg per inhabitant), Molise (368 kg) and Calabria (381 kg).
A changing of the guard is taking place in the management of Biorepack – the national consortium for the organic recycling of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging, the seventh consortium in the CONAI system, as the Board of Directors has appointed Carmine Pagnozzi as the new general director.
Recycling explained by those who directly operate some of Italy's composting plants. Watch the videos.
The fight against illegality in the compostable bioplastic packaging sector intensifies with the introduction of an online platform created by Biorepack in collaboration with Assobioplastiche.
Two years ahead of the deadline set by the European Union. The regulation requires Italian municipalities to set up a separate collection service for food waste, including EN 13432-certified biodegradable and compostable packaging.
Italy serves as an example and has already done ‘a lot of work’ in using compostable packaging, particularly for food-related applications.
An estimated 37% of fruit and vegetables are sold packaged. In Paris, from 1 January, 30 types of fresh fruit and vegetables must be sold without plastic packaging.
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