Italy contradicts EU guidelines on single-use plastics

The EU is leading the fight against plastic pollution. As of 3rd July 2021, single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon rods and cotton buds can no longer be placed on the markets of EU Member States. On 14th January, the law banning the use of single-use, non-biodegradable and non-compostable plastic officially came into force.

© Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

On 14th January, the new rules on single-use plastics came into force in Italy, implementing the European Directive Sup. The application methods defined by the Government contradict the provisions of the European Union, distorting the structure of the Directive. In Italy, in fact, no provision is made for any kind of incentive for the mechanical recycling of plastics, thus neglecting a sector that is at the heart of the circular economy.

Italy therefore deviates dangerously from the structural objective of the Directive, i.e. the circularity of plastics. According to the European Regulation on “Green Taxonomy”, in fact, mechanical recycling is considered the most sustainable process for the treatment of plastics, since for every tonne of plastic recycled, 1.9 tonnes of oil are saved, CO2 emissions are reduced by 1.4 tonnes, and considerable amounts of electricity are saved. The circular use of plastics, which we know is the main objective of the Directive, could be further promoted by extending the provisions for a mandatory minimum content of 50% post-consumer recycled plastics.

“These are fundamental aspects, which the government has not taken into account. The choices made by the Executive in applying the Sup Directive are the result of a lack of strategic vision and contradict the direction outlined by the European Union, risking exposing Italy to warnings or even more severe procedures. Let us not forget the 2030 target, also set by the EU, of 55% effective recycling of plastic packaging waste. This is a challenging target that will hardly be reached without the contribution of the mechanical plastics recycling companies and without measures favouring the recycled plastics sector”, underlines Assorimap President Walter Regis. This is what Assorimap said in a statement.

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