CoReVe: the many lives of glass

In recycling of glass packaging Italy is in 4th place in Europe after Germany, France and the United Kingdom, for absolute quantity, at 11th for recycling rate. To say it is CoReVe who has been dealing with it for years and explains that it is necessary for our country to soon adopt collection systems based on the most widespread “European” model, “single material”, perhaps also dividing by color: green, amber and white. Gianpaolo Caccini, president of CoReVe, explains that the results locally "Dthey depend a lot on the organization of public administrations: where the choices of the administrators allow it, improvements always occur ".

1) What kind of waste does CoReVe deal with? What activities does the consortium carry out?
We deal with glass packaging waste from urban separate collection carried out on public surfaces. Through the signing of ad hoc agreements with the Municipalities / Collection Managers, we take care of the withdrawal for an economic consideration according to the quantity and quantity of available material. We rationalize and organize the start-up a recycling on a national basis and every year we prepare the Specific Prevention Plan which certifies the results obtained and the actions to be taken for the future.

2) Who are they and how many are your consortium members?
There are all glass packaging companies, manufacturers and importers, but users who produce glass packaging and fill them and users who import full glass packaging can also participate. Overall, there are 74 consortium companies: 31 glass packaging manufacturers and 43 importers of empty glass containers.

3) What recycling results have you recorded in recent years? In 2011 we recorded a recycling rate of 69.9%, better than in previous years. However, the quality of separate waste collection is worsening, therefore waste increases. In the treatment operations to make the scrap suitable for recycling in the glass factory, by selecting the pollutants, large quantities of glass are lost which, in the last year, amounted to 15.5% of the collected material. The phenomenon, unfortunately growing, is due to the use of collection methods such as "multi-material" ones or to management models not aimed at quality collection, which reduce recycling results and should therefore not be conceived.

4) What are the most virtuous areas of Italy?
In Italy there is a mature North, a Center and a South with some excellent experiences, but with a widespread delay to fill. It is therefore necessary to adopt more efficient management systems and models and to make correct and targeted communication. In the North, the per capita average is now close to 40 kg collected per inhabitant, in the center it is about half, in the south less than 15. The 2011 national average is equal to 27-28 kg / inhabitant. It depends a lot on the organization of public administrations: where the choices of the administrators allowed it, there has been a significant comeback in the south and the center. From a geographical point of view, Val d’Aosta, Lombardy, Trentino, Veneto emerge, closely followed by Sardinia. The most significant increases in the withdrawals made by Coreve, however, occurred in Molise, Basilicata and Tuscany, thanks to the Regional Agreement signed by CoReVe.

5) How are the Italian results compared to those of other European countries?
From the available data of 2010, for absolute quantities recycled Italy would be in 4th place in Europe after Germany, France and the United Kingdom. According to the recycling rate calculated by some bodies such as the FEVE (European Federation of Packaging Manufacturers), the differences in the calculation method are felt in the ranking and slightly distort the final results, placing Italy in 11th place. place of the EU of 27 countries.

6) What kind of prevention activities can be done in this regard?
Each action of improvement of the preparatory phases for recycling (quality of collection, technological improvement of treatment, separation by color, recovery of building waste) and prevention. Then there are other "prevention" actions such as the lightening of the containers and the lengthening of the life cycle of the containers, thanks to the use of "domestic" or organized reuse circuits.

7) Are there any new solutions that could optimize the glass cullet recycling chain in sight?
It is necessary to improve the collection systems on the basis of the most common "European" model (glass and paper alone, plastic and metals together), to optimize the treatment from a technological point of view, to recover waste in alternative sectors to landfill, to make available quantity of scrap selected by color. The separation of glass by color (green, amber and white) is practiced by many European countries, in Italy we are behind on this. However, there are new forms of waste recovery in sectors such as construction, ceramics and bricks, to the point of even patenting new materials such as "glass paste" or "Padiver". It is a material that is able to contain non-recyclable glass waste in glassworks in percentages higher than 80% of its weight and can take the form of any ceramic material, with different hot and cold forming techniques, resulting more advantageous (from an economic and environmental point of view) compared to traditional materials and processes.

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