Italy’s recycling rate hits over 80%

CIAL (Italian Consortium for Aluminium Packaging Recycling) has released its data for 2018, which showed that 80% of the packaging on the Italian market was recycled.

54,300 tons of aluminium packaging was recycled in 2018, representing 80.2% of the total 67,700 tons of aluminium entering the market. 4,300 tons of thin packaging was destined for waste-to-energy treatment.

These figures were announced at the 2018 annual meeting of the 256 companies in the consortium at CIAL.

The results are essential for a country where aluminium production is 100% based on recycling: it avoided greenhouse emissions for 403 thousand tons of CO2, while saving energy for over 173 thousand tons of oil equivalent. This was all made possible thanks to the collective effort of institutions, companies, operators, citizens and municipalities.

In particular, over 5,200 municipalities and 44 million citizens are actively participating in the aluminium waste separation. CIAL collaborates with them as part of the Anci-Conai Framework Agreement throughout the national territory.

“In recent years, the national system of aluminium packaging management has reached an astounding level of maturity and efficiency, and the 80% recycling quota proves it. It is an improvement that guarantees additional increases in quality and quantity for the future, especially in territories where further growth is achievable”, CIAL president Bruno Rea said during the Assembly. “We are aware that the development process has reached the turning point, and the proof lies in the main regions of Southern Italy, although admittedly not all of them: they have shown increasing performances, and they will soon be able to close the gap separating them from the most developed areas.”

CIAL has been working to reaffirm the commitment of citizens, Municipalities and operators in different ways: the use of reward and incentive-based systems according to the increasing levels of quantity and quality, the support in the implementation of new technologies for the selection, supplementary solutions to waste separation in order to guarantee the identification of traces of erroneously categorised waste material, as well as the recovery option for the aluminium fraction from the waste screening of the recycling sorting plants.

“A further element that raises both satisfaction and awareness on the line of action undertaken by our Consortium is the comparison of our results with the amount of recycling achieved over the years by other countries of the European Union. We have been comparing data while often collaborating by sharing research and development projects for some time now. Speaking of which, an interesting aspect to underline is that, unlike the other countries, the Italian system is based on the collection and recovery of all types of packaging, and it does not include only those types that can be more easily exploited in economic terms. This is clearly a key aspect that affirms our system’s ability to best combine economic-managerial efficiency with corporate socio-environmental responsibility.”

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