We also attended to Ecomondo, the green transition trade show held every year at the Rimini Expo Center.
Ecomondo, the green technology expo, confirms itself as a meeting point and dialogue between industries, stakeholders, policy makers, opinion leaders, local authorities; the place where to systematize all the key elements that define the development strategies of the European Union’s environmental policy.
Many areas of sustainability were touched upon, including water cycle & blue economy, environmental monitoring & control, bio-energy & agroecology, as well as circular economy and waste as resource. The Paper District is positioned in the latter area, where we visited prominent exhibitors, including Sylvamo, which hosted us in its booth and with whom we talked about the future of paper and its rebirth, between myths and commonplaces.
The insights we bring home
“The snack wrapper, the pasta wrapper, the drink bottle… If you were told that at the end of this day you will have produced nearly half a kilo of packaging waste would you believe it?
It seems impossible for such lightweight objects to weigh so much, yet each inhabitant of the European Union in 2020 generated 177.9 kilograms of waste from these “scraps” alone. Paper accounted for 41.1 percent of this weight, followed by plastic 19.4 percent, glass 19.1 percent, wood 15.2 percent, and metal 5 percent (the remaining 0.2 percent being other materials). Also in 2020, Eurostat notes, kilograms of waste per person generated in the EU was 505 – up 5 kilograms from 2019 and up 38 kilograms from 1995 – and only 48 percent has been recycled.”
It was with this in mind that we joined the speech “Packaging of technological products: between sustainable innovation and the new European Regulation“ by Erion Packaging, moderated by Raffele Lupoli, Director of economiaCircolare.com, in which we listened to prominent personalities such as Mattia Pellegrini, Unit Head of the Environment Directorate General at the European Commission; Isabella Capurso, Sustainability Consultant Interzero Italia; Davide Rossi, General Manager Aires; Marco Imparato, General Manager Applia Italia; Mariagiovanna Vetere, Board Member Cluster Spring and Roberto Magnaghi, General Manager Erion Packaging.
We learned about the next steps in European regulation on packaging and packaging waste, Life Cycle Assessment analysis from a “reverse” perspective, and possible scenarios that no longer rely only on recycling, but assess the impact of “non-packaging” and different packaging waste management.
The talk ended with an enlightening thought by Dr. Domenico Repetto, General Director ITC Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security, who shared a new point of view, focusing on the development of consumer awareness that is essential to build new models of sustainability in packaging issues.