“A balanced text which corrects distortions and recognises the value of organic recycling”
Marco Versari, president of the Italian National Consortium for the organic recycling of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging (Biorepack), commented on yesterday’s vote: “The chamber of the European Parliament improved some areas which would have been detrimental to organic recycling. The Italian model, based on synergies between municipal food waste collection and compostable packaging, can be maintained and spread to other countries”
23 November 2023 – “Yesterday the European Parliament approved a balanced text. Compared with the initial wording, in which some passages were decidedly detrimental to organic recycling (which, let’s not forget, is the recycling method for the largest proportion of separate waste collection), this version corrects a number of distortions, restoring the right space for this form of recycling and for materials such as compostable bioplastics, which have also been developed to support this recycling.” This was the reaction of Marco Versari, president of the Biorepack consortium.
It has been just under a year since the European Commission’s initial proposal, and Biorepack, the only European extended producer responsibility system specifically dedicated to the managing and recycling of compostable bioplastic packaging, has been closely following the whole process, which culminated in yesterday's vote by the European Parliament. “This is why we can say that the approved text is the result of the great work carried out by the consortium system together with Italian MEPs to acknowledge the true importance of organic recycling and compostable materials,” added Versari.
Ensuring these materials are suitably valued is of great help for the growth and consolidation of the recycling of household food waste, which – we should remember – accounts for between 30 and 40% of all waste produced by European citizens. “The production of compostable bioplastic packaging plays a decisive role in increasing the quality and quantity of collected food waste and its transformation into compost, which can be used to restore fertility to degraded soils,” explained Versari. “We are therefore particularly pleased that, after yesterday’s vote, Italy’s interconnected model of municipal food waste management and compostable bioplastic packaging can be maintained and also rolled out to other EU countries.”
From 1 January next year, separate collection of food waste will become mandatory across the whole EU (a requirement that was introduced in Italy two years ago). “Soon, the other Member States will also be able to experience a significant improvement in food waste collection and recycling rates, in part thanks to the positive contribution made by compostable products,” concluded Versari. “Italy plays a leadership role in this area with many good practices, which have received unanimous support from national agricultural and industrial organisations. After the European Parliament vote, we hope the Council will confirm this approach, thereby enabling us to spread our virtuous model to other countries. Biorepack will continue to monitor this issue with great interest.”
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BIOREPACK, the National Consortium for the Organic Recycling of Biodegradable and Compostable Plastic Packaging, is a non-profit consortium under private law, with articles of association approved by a decree from the Ministry for Ecological Transition in agreement with the Ministry for Economic Development, with the aim of ensuring development of the differentiated collection and organic recycling of bioplastics together with the organic fraction of waste (article 182 c of the Consolidated Environment Law - Legislative Decree no. 152/2006). It is made up of more than 200 companies active in the production of raw materials, processing and industrial use of UNI EN 13432-certified compostable bioplastic packaging, as well as its organic recycling.
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