Paper and Board Collection, Recycling, and Recovery in Italy in 2020

A review of the results contained in this 26th annual report highlights that almost 3.5 million tons of paper and board were sorted in 2020 globally, with a “loss” of approximately 22thousand tons vs. 2019, as well as an increase of more than 34thousand tons in the South as an effect of the engagement of Administrations and of the resources invested by the Consortium over time.

Over 2.4 million tons of all the paper and board collected separately by the Italian Cities – about 70% – was managed under agreements with Comieco, thus demonstrating the Consortium’s ability to get engaged at times of trouble to guarantee separate collection. The investment in favor of Cities and operators amounted to more than 150 million EUR.

What can we expect for the future, then?

That the economy becomes more and more circular, that the market shifts increasingly towards the use of recycled products and tests their application in new domains including, for example, polylaminates with a prevalence of paper, favored by a restored balance between demand and supply – albeit with predictable price volatility.

That, in full transition to the European Green New Deal, the foundations are laid to start a new phase for collection, treatment, and industrial production, possibly improving infrastructures in southern Italy.

Data for the first months of 2021 points out to an increase of collection compared to expectations and, particularly, to constantly high recovered-paper values as a consequence of sustained industrial demand. Our country is proud to rank among the first in Europe by recycled paper and board volumes and by packaging recycling rate, now settled at 87.3%, which anticipates and surpasses the achievement of the European Community’s targets for 2030.

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