Waste recycling: 2023 data and trends 

The recycling of waste and recyclable materials is an essential pillar to build a sustainable future for our environment.

As shown by the data for the year 2023, Italy seems to have understood it completely: the recycling rate of our country’s waste is 72% and is above the European average, around 58%.
This commitment has led to tangible results in the circular economy landscape in the country, with a clear positive impact on future prospects.

Successes and Challenges in Recycling Materials

In the packaging sector, which includes glass, paper, cardboard, steel and plastic, Italy has achieved important successes.

The national target of 75% packaging recycling was largely exceeded in 2023, with estimates indicating that more than 80% of glass packaging and more than 85% of paper and cardboard packaging are being recycled.

The European Commission has published a report on the state of waste recycling in member countries, pointing out that only 9 (among which we proudly find Italy) out of 27 are on track to achieve the objectives set.

The National Strategy for the Circular Economy, adopted with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, is an important step towards the transformation of waste management in Italy. This strategy includes tax incentives for recycling and the use of secondary raw materials, along with reforms in the systems of environmental taxation and extended producer responsibility.

Waste recycling: the key role of the paper industry

The paper industry faces significant challenges, especially in view of Europe’s emission reduction targets.
However, it is an almost perfect example of a circular economy, with a high use of renewable resources and a high percentage of collected and recycled paper and board.

In Italy, 89% of the pulp purchased is forest certified, demonstrating a commitment to sustainable practices. The internal paper and cardboard collection is also constantly growing, with an increase of 80% compared to twenty years ago.

These figures position Italy as a leader in waste recycling, with significant success in the packaging industry and a clear commitment to the circular economy. The key to this success?
The cooperation between institutions, businesses and citizens remains essential to optimize waste management and promote increasingly sustainable practices.

source: Assoambiente

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