Plastics and waste recycling (2012)
In contrast to other European countries, Italy still makes excessive use of landfill as a method of waste disposal. At the same time, in the recycling sector, there are still few initiatives that, through technologically advanced facilities, recover raw materials from waste. All this while European legislation gives priority to the reduction, recycling and reuse of materials and waste. At the same time, the issue of the illegal export of waste to foreign countries where the materials are reprocessed and put back on the market in products, very often intended for children items or the food sector, is extremely relevant. One example is the recent seizure by the Guardia di Finanza of 300,000 dangerous toys imported from China, which were found to contain substances that can lead to malformations in children’s growth.
Therefore, it is necessary to rethink the philosophy of waste management by considering alternative systems, trying as much as possible to intercept materials before they become waste and implementing, at the same time, virtuous industrial districts able to meet the needs of the territory and promote a sustainable economy.
In perfect line with the requests put forward during the 4th edition of the PolieCo International Forum on the Waste Economy, the Eurispes research entitled “Plastics and material recycling. Another way is possible”, on the one hand, photographs the current situation. It also suggests future solutions, while encouraging the debate between institutions, legislators, sector operators, researchers and academics.