Italy is an excellence in the recycling of bioplastics

The recycling rate of bioplastic packaging treated together with organic waste stands at 56.9% of the amount released for consumption, thus exceeding the targets set for 2030

Italy has already exceeded the 2030 targets for the recycling of compostable bioplastics, even if the presence of non-compostable materials in wet waste puts the results of the supply chain at risk. This is what emerges from

Consortium 2023 management report Biorepack. The recycling rate of bioplastic packaging treated together with organic waste stands at 56.9% of what is released for consumption (44,338 tonnes compared to 77,900), seven points more than the 2025 objective and two more than that expected for the end of 2030.

Three-quarters of the Italian population served

The share of the national population served by the agreements signed with the Municipalities or with the entities delegated by these, collection managers now approaches three-quarters of the national total. The economic compensation recognized to the Municipalities and to companies that deal with waste separation exceeded 9.4 million euros.

Claiming the results obtained, Marco Versari, president of Biorepack, highlights “the importance of building alliances and synergies with local bodies that deal with waste collection. In this way – he specifies – it is possible to offer better services for citizens and above all it is possible to valorise organic and compostable matrices, precious resources because they can be returned to the earth in the form of compost, helping to combat degradation, desertification and dependence on chemical fertilisers” .

The negative impact of non-compostable materials

However, there is a chiaroscuro aspect that deserves to be explored further: the 2023 recycling result is slightly lower than 2022 due to a greater presence of bioplastics in the waste: 17.3% of bioplastics entering organic recycling plants are removed from recycling due to several factors. The most important is the high presence of “non-compostable materials” (NCM): waste composed mainly of traditional plastics, glass and metals which must be eliminated within treatment plants through complex and expensive separation operations. These actions eliminate compostable matrices, mainly kitchen and green waste, and, unfortunately, also compostable bioplastics.

Growing affiliated bodies

Correct communication on how the separate collection of wet and compostable waste is carried out is one of the activities that the consortium is carrying out, collaborating with the affiliated local authorities. A number that continues to grow significantly: during 2023 the municipalities served reached 4624, equal to 58.5% of the total, eleven percentage points more than the previous year. What is particularly gratifying is the reduction of the territorial gap between North and South, which, although still significant, is starting to close.

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