08 Nov Plastic Free & Plastic Tax
The plastic is definitely in the foreground in the European context with various initiatives to achieve the goal of eliminating environmental pollution induced by plastic waste abandoned on the coasts and in the seas, promoting new plastic materials friends of nature, as well as forms of responsible recycling that involves everyone, from the producer to the final consumer.
RiVending, a virtuous circuit of recovery and recycling of small glasses and pallets used in automatic coffee break points, promoted by CONFIDA, COREPLA and UNIONPLAST, has launched the initiative to reuse them to produce bowls for pets that will be donated to ENPA, the national Protection Agency for pets. The project involves placing special containers at the coffee break point to collect used small glasses and pallets, thus simplifying the selection process in recycling plants, obtaining homogeneous and high-quality plastic. VERSALIS uses the same material in its plant in Mantova to produce its expandable polystyrene with recycled content. These initiatives highlight that plastic is not actually the enemy to be fought, but it is vital to promote responsible behavior from producer to consumer.
It isn’t enough to subscribe the EU Directive for the reduction of SUP Disposable Plastics, prohibiting its use, but it is necessary to verify that the composting plants are really ready to accept the new compostable, without being rejected as unsuitable.
There’re other consequences. The German newspaper Lebensmittelzeitung published an article informing its readers that tons of cucumbers from Spain were directly destined for pulping once they arrived in Germany, as they were not wrapped in plastic film. It lengthens their life, allowing them to sustain the journey and distribution with small waste. The promoters of plastic free accuse the consumers that want to find out-of-season products at supermarkets and other points of sale of fresh vegetables. This particular event highlights the complex nature of the problem, which cannot be solved by bans.
In some UE Countries, as Italy or Ireland, the Govern wants to introduce a plastic tax, but a new tax has no other effect than to penalize the productive sector. We think it is more fruitful to promote and support targeted educational programs in addition with research and development of technologies that give rise to increasingly sustainable products.