MILAN – In reference to 2013, collection increased by 4%. 30 years after its foundation, the National Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Cellulose-based Packaging (Comieco) is taking stock of the situation: From 1985 till today, recovery has increased tenfold. The Italians are becoming increasingly conscientious about the differentiated collection of paper and card. Following a five-year period of consistently maintained waste recovery and due to decreasing consumption, an increase of 4% was recorded in 2014, compared to 2013, with municipal recovery exceeding 3.1 million tonnes. This amounts to 120 thousand tonnes more: it is as if a new Italian region has been added to the 20 existing ones.
The 20th Annual Comieco Report
From the founding of Comieco, in 1985, the differentiated collection of paper and card went from 300 thousand to 3 million tonnes, with positive forecasts also for 2015. These data were provided by Comieco during the presentation of the 20th Report on the Differentiated Collection of Paper and Card, presented at the Theatre of the Centre of the Earth in the Biodiversity pavilion at the Milan Expo. All variations were positive for the three macro areas: +1.6% for the North (where Liguria stood out with +6.7%), +4.7% for the Central Provinces (with the best performance from Lazio: +9.9%) and a good +10.6% for the South (followed by Campania with +17.6%).
The Italians and paper
But how much paper and card does each Italian collect on average? A little less than 52 kg per year. The final podium went to the top three areas: Trentino Alto Adige with 83.1 kg per inhabitant, closely followed by Emilia Romagna with 81.8 kg and Valle d’Aosta with 73.5 kg per inhabitant. To sum up, the Central Provinces and the North have been neck and neck now for several years, with a pro capita rate estimated at around 63 kg per inhabitant per year in 2914. Further behind, however, is the South, regardless of the notable increase recorded the previous year, with 29.9 kg. A reassuring result, which offers high hopes, but which has led to further work on several regions struggling to align themselves with national trends, like Sicily, which recorded a reduction in waste recovery of 7.1% in 2014.
“In these 30 years of Comieco’s activities, the complete cycle of paper and card recycling has been carried out so that valuable assets like paper and card do not get wasted, since the proper management of waste, in this case, of wood pulp products, has undeniable benefits for the environment, the economy and the national infrastructure – emphasised Ignazio Capuano, President of Comieco – From its establishment as a Consortium in 1998, following the ‘Ronchi’*** Decree, Comieco has transferred over one billion euros in reimbursements to the participating municipalities (almost 95 million euros in 2014 alone). Furthermore, together with ANCI [the national association of Italian municipalities] in 2014, we put out a tender of 1.7 million euros which has enabled 89 medium to large municipalities with a need to develop or optimise differentiated waste collection to receive financial support. As regards 2015 – concluded Capuano – We first decided to replicate the ANCI tender, with the allocation of a further 2 million euros. We have moreover developed a proper plan for the South, sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment, with a financial endowment of a further 7 million euros to help the municipalities with any shortfall in their waste recovery.”
By editorial staff