As part of the Green Deal initiatives, the European Plan for the Circular Economy presents a series of measures aimed at achieving various objectives. In particular, the plan aims to make products sustainable, by designing them to last longer and using recycled materials as much as possible. Emphasis is also placed on consumer empowerment by providing information on the repairability and durability of products. The plan also focuses on sectors that use the most resources and have a high potential for circularity, such as electronics and information and communication technologies, batteries and vehicles, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction, food and water. Other goals of the plan include reducing waste and waste generation, turning products into secondary resources and using circularity as a basis for land management, as well as leading global circular economy efforts.
Italy European leader in recycling
n 25 years, Italy has made great strides in the recycling sector, moving from emergency waste management to a leading position in Europe. The recycling industry in Italy has grown steadily both in terms of quantity and quality. In 1997, only 9.4% of municipal waste was collected separately, while 80% was landfilled. Only 21% of industrial waste was recycled, while 33% ended up in landfill. In 2020, however, 63% of municipal waste was collected separately and only 20% was disposed of in landfills. 70% of industrial waste was recycled and only 6% was landfilled.
These advances have led to the growth of the recycling industry in Italy, which has become a relevant and strategic sector for the national economy. The recycling industry has about 4,800 companies and 236,365 employees, and generates an added value of 10.5 billion euros, up 31% from 2010 to 2020. In 2020, Italy reached the European record of 72% recycling of all waste (urban and special-industrial), exceeding the EU average of 53% and that of Germany by 55%. Furthermore, the rate of use of recycled materials out of the total materials consumed was 21.6%, higher than the EU average of 12.8% and 13.4% in Germany.
Also with regard to the management of packaging waste, Italy is a European recycling excellence, sending over 10.5 million tons of waste for recyclingwith a rate of 73.3% in 2021. This rate is higher not only the European target of 65% for 2025, but also the European target of 70% for 2030, reached 9 years in advance.
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