From soil health to increased employment: Italian bioplastics bring great benefits for the future of Italy
The consortium for the recycling of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging will be at the event in Rimini from 26 to 29 October. Separate collection and correct labelling of bioplastics generate important environmental benefits, protecting soil health and reducing CO2 emissions. But they are increasingly producing economic opportunities: the sector in Italy involves 278 companies with a total turnover of €815 million. The average annual growth rate is over 10%
Rimini, 25 October 2021 - Promoting the recycling of compostable bioplastics by working together with all stakeholders, including the public, municipalities, service companies and processing plant operators. A synergy that generates benefits for the environment, the climate and the economy. This is the mission of Biorepack, the consortium founded by six of Italy's leading bioplastics producers and processors which will be present at Ecomondo, Europe's leading event for ecological transition and new circular and regenerative economy models taking place in Rimini from 26 to 29 October.
“Taking part in this event is an invaluable opportunity for us to introduce ourselves,” said Biorepack President Marco Versari. "We want to present our work and projects to a vast and diverse audience with a shared sensitivity towards new sustainable development models. Of these, the utilisation of food waste and compostable bioplastics is an essential strategy for maintaining soil health, a resource under serious threat from pollution, climate change and indiscriminate exploitation.”
Established in Rome on 26 November 2018, Biorepack is the world's first consortium for the recycling of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging with UNI EN 13432 certification, meaning it can be collected and recycled together organic waste and turned into compost after industrial processing. Its aim is to enable the bioplastics sector to optimise management of organic waste recycling by promoting the proper disposal of items together with the separate collection of household food waste and ensure correct labelling and recognition. Organic recycling of bioplastic waste helps create fertile soil which can help combat desertification and soil erosion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to the increased capacity of healthy soil to store carbon.
The European Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system promoted by Biorepack enables certified bioplastics to make a major contribution on several levels:
The remarkable dynamism and growth margins of the bioplastics sector have been demonstrated by data released by Plastic Consult: in 2020 there were 278 companies in the sector in Italy, up from 143 in 2012, including producers of basic chemicals and intermediates, producers and distributors of granules and primary and secondary processors. Over an eight-year period, the number of employees of companies in the sector increased from 1,280 to 2,775 while total turnover rose from €367 million to €815 million, with an average annual growth rate of over 10%.
In recent years, Italian municipalities have undertaken a series of initiatives to encourage waste recycling. They are supported by ANCI and CONAI, which provide local authorities with financial resources and communication materials. Just a few days ago, the two bodies signed a technical annex with Biorepack that regulates the criteria for the collection, transport and processing of these materials together with municipal food waste.
“The consortium, the municipalities and their delegated operators will be committed to promoting the management of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging waste together with municipal food waste,” said Gino Schiona, Biorepack's general manager. “The obligations also relate to the maximisation of organic recycling and the reduction of contamination of municipal food waste by non-compostable items. These items hinder, and sometimes prevent, the recycling of compostable packaging, increasing the processing costs borne by the community.” Under the partnership agreement, there are four different levels of financial compensation available to municipalities and other partners: the higher the quality of the waste collected, the higher the amount paid out.
Biorepack is part of the CONAI system as a consortium for the end-of-life management of UNI EN 13432-certified biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging, which can be recycled along with organic waste (Article 182-ter of the Environmental Code – Legislative Decree 152/2006) and transformed into compost through a specific industrial process. It was established in Rome on 26 November 2018 by six of Italy’s leading bioplastics producers and processors, and its statute, drawn up in accordance with the standard Ministry of the Environment statute applicable to consortia from the CONAI supply chain, was approved on 16 October 2020 by a decree of the Minister of the Environment together with the Minister of Economic Development.
GreenPress for Biorepack
Martina Valentini | Journalist & PR
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