Circular economy and renewable, the advantages according to the Italians

The data from the Ipsos survey presented at the Ecoforum

The circular economy convinces more and more citizens, informed, attentive to the issue and aware of the benefits connected to it, starting with the employment issue. This was revealed by the data of the new Ipsos survey entitled ‘Italy and the circular economy’ by Conou, Legambiente, New Ecology Publishing presented today on the first day of the IX edition of the Ecoforum, the National Conference of the circular economy, organized on 5 and 6 July in Rome at Palazzo Falletti, by Legambiente, Nuova Ecologia and Kyoto Club, in collaboration with Conai and Conou and with the patronage of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Lazio Region.

According to the study, in a context dominated by economic, health and geopolitical uncertainties, almost 70% of the citizens interviewed believe that the development of the circular economy and energy from renewable sources can counteract the increase in bills. The opinion on green jobs, jobs linked to sustainability, is also positive, for 48% of the interviewees will increase in the future. Citizens also have clear ideas about where investments should focus to increase circularity: experts (41%) put some particularly drastic actions in the top 5 positions such as the closure of risky plants and polluting companies. And on the pandemic, 71% of people agree that the post-pandemic recovery is a unique time to build societies that are more resilient to future shocks.

“The circular economy – declares Stefano Ciafani, national president of Legambiente – is a crucial sector for the country, capable of creating investments, employment, local economy, and generating important benefits for the environment. For this reason it is essential that Italy accelerates the step in this direction, starting with those works that are needed to get it off the ground. The first construction site to be started concerns that of the plant network on which today there is a strong disparity between the north, where the majority of plants are concentrated, and the central south where they are lacking. To get closer to the zero waste disposal target, a thousand new recycling plants are needed to make each Italian province self-sufficient, involving citizens, production activities and local institutions in the authorization phase through a phase of public debate. And then we need to work better on optimizing collection systems, on flagship projects that serve the country, simplifying the authorization process, and on raising the quality of public environmental controls throughout the country “.

“Ours is a strange country: with excellent companies in the circular economy and political choices in that field that are not up to the challenge. For example, we have the most advanced collection system for the organic fraction of waste and instead we are still struggling to overcome the Nimby and Nimto which hinders the creation of the biodigesters essential to treat it and produce biomethane and compost. We could and should issue end of waste decrees that would allow the reuse of the material and instead too often local administrators think of taking negative shortcuts and resorting to incineration wasting resources. We need to change gear and really support that part of the business world, public and private, capable of fully grasping the challenge of innovation “, explained Francesco Ferrante Vice President of the Kyoto Club.

“The circular economy as a solution to economic and climate problems is one of the most effective responses, increasingly in the current context characterized by crises and uncertainties – commented Riccardo Piunti, president of Conou, National Consortium of Used Oils – We need to support, the construction of new treatment plants, technological innovation in processes as well as authorization simplification, all the initiatives that, inspired by circularity, with the enhancement and recovery of waste, can contribute to saving resources on the one hand and safeguarding of the environment on the other. The reality of the supply chain consortia, starting with the Conou, amply demonstrates that the conversion to the circular model is not only possible, but is capable of bringing lasting benefits to the advantage of all. The more waste we regenerate, the less waste will be dispersed into the environment and the less CO2 we will produce. What is at stake is our future and we will only be able to make it ours with the support of cooperation between institutions, businesses and citizens ”.