Italy above the EU average in waste recycling

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There are some facts that are so counter-intuitive to the prevailing narrative that it is sometimes difficult to accept them even in the face of numbers. We all have before our eyes images of cities like Rome or (in recent years) Naples, with the streets invaded by uncollected rubbish bags and exploding bins. Yet, the data from the Early Warning Report 2023, created by the European Commission in collaboration with the European Environment Agency, say that Italy is among the European countries with the best performances, both for preparation for reuse and recycling of municipal waste and packaging waste.

The numbers were presented, together with the “Recycling in Italy 2023” report, on the occasion of the National Conference on the Recycling Industry, in Milan. The recycling rate of special and urban waste has reached 72% (compared to a European average of 58%), with peaks of excellence for packaging: 10.5 million tonnes of packaging sent in 2022 for the recovery of matter (they were 9.3 in 2018), 2 points above the 70% target set by the EU for 2030.

However, there remains ample room for improvement: to make a qualitative leap in the circularity of its economy, which is very important both for the economic competitiveness of a country that is a major importer of raw materials, and for reducing its climate and environmental impacts, Italy must do further steps forward in waste recycling: recovering the delays that remain in some supply chains (such as WEEE), developing new sectors (such as the recycling of batteries and solar panels), strengthening the markets for secondary raw materials so as to reduce the consumption of primary raw materials and develop some innovations in some supply chains (such as the chemical recycling of plastics).

Data from the 2023 Report

The Report highlights the performance of 19 recycling chains, with packaging recycling maintaining a good trend and packaging waste recovery rates now at cutting-edge levels in Europe: paper, glass and steel lead with a 81% recycling rate.

Wooden packaging has added a recycling rate of 63%, more than double the 30% expected by the EU by 2030 and 97% of recycled wood material in Italy is transformed into chipboard panels used by the furniture and furniture industry. furnishing.



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