Overcome the paradox of the plastic-environment dichotomy
In recent years, plastics have been at the centre of various debates involving industry, politicians, researchers and ecologists. Regardless of one's point of view, it is important to realise that plastics do indeed cause pollution, but that, as things stand, we cannot do without them.
It is important to remember that plastic is recyclable and that pollution is not due to its chemical nature but solely to human behaviour and a system that has yet to be optimised to collect used plastic and give it a new lease of life.
Under the Ronchi Decree, appropriate consortia were created to deal with the recovery of different product fractions. For plastics, this entity is the National Consortium for the Collection, Recycling and Recovery of Plastic Packaging (Corepla) and others such as CONAI and CONIP.
In the collection and recycling of plastic, Italy has a record to be proud of with a waste recovery rate of almost 80%. There are 35 plastic packaging waste sorting centres operating in Italy. The separate collection of plastic packaging waste has been started in more than 6,500 municipalities and the population involved is close to 90%.
This shows that if we could maintain these recovery values (and perhaps bring them close to 100%) plastics could be defined as an environmentally friendly and sustainable product.