Italy, a model for the Eco-sustainability of packaging

Published: 27/07/2022

In 2022, Italy is one of the European countries with the lowest cost of packaging recycling. 

This was revealed by a study conducted by Green (Centre for Geography, Resources, Environment, Energy and Networks) of Bocconi University and by Wuppertal Institut, recently presented at the European Parliament in Brussels. 

Increased sensitivity for environmental protection and the more restrictive measures put in place are affecting both producers and users of packaging. In particular, manufacturers of consumer goods shall offer packaging that is a fully recyclable, biodegradable, made from 100% recycled material or derived from organic sources.

Since 2005, Europe has introduced the obligation for its Member States to establish an extended producer responsibility regime to manage packaging when it becomes waste: those who produce packaging are also responsible for its end of life. 

The Italian System Stands out in the European Comparison 

The European countries have built different models of packaging waste management, each with its own specificities. The Italian one, represented by Conai, National Packaging Consortium, is one of the most efficient and least expensive.

“The research highlights another, very important detail: together with France, Estonia and the Czech Republic, Italy is the most transparent country”, commented Luca Ruini, Conai president.

Packaging waste recycling is an important element, and is part of the broader vision of the almost obligatory transition to a circular economy, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere and to prevent the loss of biodiversity. 

The Pluses of System Manufacturers for a Sustainable Packaging

Still many consumers do not know which the best choice to limit their ecological impact is. Hence, one can find packaging on the market that though made with the best intentions, considering its life cycle, damages the environment instead of safeguarding it.

In this respect, the manufacturers of packaging equipment – placed upstream in the supply chain – have gathered a valuable experience in the field of materials, design and packaging recyclability. They know every single detail of packaging processed through their systems and are fully aware of which factors influence sustainability. 

This industry – in Italy a globally recognised excellence – besides focusing on energy efficiency and on the environmental impact of materials in packaging manufacture, shall increasingly consider recyclability at the end of its life cycle.

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