Collection of paper and cardboard at the top, each Italian differentiates over 60 Kg

The data in the Comieco annual report

In 2021 Italy set a record in the rwelcomed of paper and cardboard: every Italian has differentiated over 60 Kg. This is what emerges from the Twenty-seventh Annual Report on the separate collection and recycling of paper and cardboard in Italy presented by Comieco, National Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Cellulose-Based Packaging. In 2021, more than 3.6 million tons of cellulosic material were separated overall across the country. In particular, Southern Italy saw a positive growth of 4.3% thanks to the commitment of companies such as Messina, ranked this year as leaders among the most virtuous municipalities in Italy, chosen as the location for the presentation of national data. .

“2021 was again marked by a positive growth for our country in the separate collection of paper and cardboard: 3.2% more than in 2020 ”declares Alberto Marchi, president of Comieco. “Thanks to the coordinated action of citizens, municipalities and managers, for the first time in 2021 we have exceeded 60 kilograms of material collected per inhabitant nationwide. An important result, enhanced by the consolidation of the recycling rate of cellulosic packaging, which stood at 85% and which for the second year allows us to exceed the target set by the European Union for 2030 ”.

These results are the result of a close-knit ‘dream team’, a team game in which Comieco operates as a point guard, but where each member of the team is called upon to play a specific role to cover in order to guarantee the circularity of the sector. Concrete results that are the basis for further growth in the coming years: the margins are there and they are not negligible. Only with a great shared commitment will it be possible to collect and recycle 800,000 tons of paper and cardboard that are still estimated to end up in the undifferentiated area, with the dual objective of reducing the gap between the South and the North and developing collection throughout the country.

The Report outlines an Italian situation characterized by a trend everywhere positive, the overall volumes of municipal collection grow by over 110,000 tons, an important signal after the stop recorded with the 2020 data. North the data show that we have returned to 2019 levels, completely recovering from the false step of 2020. The collection grows by 36 thousand tons (+ 2%), with Liguria and especially Emilia-Romagna leading the recovery.

The Center, which in the transition from 2019 to 2020 had dropped by over 20 thousand tons, records a + 37 thousand tons (+ 4.5%), recovering with interest when it was lost. The South confirms also in 2021 the increase in the separate collection of paper and cardboard and its recovery path towards the North and Center macro-areas with 38,000 tons more: a growth of 4.3%, better than the previous year.

The growth trend nationality must develop on a double track: more quantity, but also more quality. If, in fact, the collection of cardboard from commercial activities is confirmed on standards of excellence (foreign fractions = 0.79%), on the “household” side on average about 50% of the quantities managed by Comieco require industrial processing to the achievement of satisfactory levels, a percentage that in the South reaches 75%. Ensuring the best quality already in the collection phase therefore becomes essential to improve efficiency and economy along the entire recycling chain.