When is a packaging considered recyclable? How to know where it should be conferred?

It is necessary to underline the difference between recyclable and disposable in separate collection.

All packaging can be disposed of in separate collection, whether recyclable or not in the state of current technologies, without prejudice to the good rules for quality separate collection (for example, always empty the packaging of its contents, reduce its volume when possible ). Thanks to the CONAI – Supply Chain Consortia system, the packaging that can be sent and used for recycling will follow that specific flow; the others will be used in any case for energy recovery.

The only exception to this rule concerns composite packaging (and / or with components of different materials that cannot be separated manually) with a prevalence of paper, with a percentage of cellulosic material lower than 60% of the total weight, a percentage that compromises the recyclability of the packaging, canceling it , with obvious consequences of environmental impact. In fact, in the recycling process, 100 kg of these packaging produce more than 85 kg of dry waste and almost 150 kg of wet waste to be disposed of in landfills, after having consumed water and electricity. Since it is therefore non-recyclable packaging with paper and cardboard, the invitation to the companies that produce and use them is to suggest on the label the delivery in undifferentiated collection, in order to minimize the environmental impact linked to the management of their end of life. .

An evaluation of the packaging’s recyclability is one of the additional pieces of information that a company may choose to display on the packaging, but this is independent of the information regarding the correct disposal of the packaging.

A packaging is recyclable when it is produced in such a way as to allow the recycling of a certain percentage by weight of the materials used, in the manufacture of marketable products, respecting the standards in force in the European Community. The determination of this percentage may vary according to the type of material that constitutes the packaging.

Packaging considered recyclable in accordance with the technical standard UNI EN ISO 13430 meets the criteria of eligibility for existing recycling technologies, namely:

  • existence of an efficient recycling technology for the type of packaging;
  • existence of a critical mass so that an efficient recycling process may be managed;
  • existence of a market for recycled materials.

These criteria must be assessed via specific surveys and studies.

Further details are available in the CONAI Essential Requirements Guidelines defined by Directive 94/62 / EC on packaging and packaging waste available at the following link: www.conai.org/wp-content/uploads/dlm_uploads/2015/01/Requparmi_essenziale_Conai.pdf .

Last modified on 19/11/2021

The contents of the labeling