Opportunities and problems of paper-bioplastics products in the packaging value chain

The seminar took place in Milano at Legambiente premises. The workshop was organised with five introductory presentations pointing out some of the main issues related to paper-plastic value chain in Italy.

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The speakers have different background and come from different fields related to paper, plastic and end of life: Graziano Elegir from Innovhub-SSI, special division of the Chamber of Commerce of Milan and partner of the project who gave an introduction of biocompack, strategies and expected results, Marco De Benedetti of Bionet - Green Chemistry Association (associated partner of Biocompack) who focused the discussion on In the food packaging market according to their functionality and sustainability. Alberto Confalonieri (CIC- Composting Consortium) had a presentation about the opportunities of composting polylaminates. According to the Composting Consortium analysis «only about 50% of the annual bioplastic production is recovered in the organic fraction of the municipal solid waste (OFMSW) the remaining is lost in other waste fractions. The contamination of conventional plastic in composting plants is still very high leading to a further loss of bioplastic during cleaning operations». Massimo Ramunni, representing Assocarta, the Paper Producers Association, claimed that the main end of life option for paper based packaging materials is recycling, in order to recover cellulose fibers, same point of view from the Paper Consortium with Barbara Bonora.

The second part of the workshop was a round table with producers and transformers of paper and bioplastic materials: Novamont, Natureworks and Cartonspecialist. All of them shared their stories, their experiences but the common problem they found is the end of life: «it is necessary to have strong dialogue among different value chains, in order to create clear rules for the end of life best option for different materials (recycling or composting). What we mostly need is to address customers to the right path and give them clear indication of the recovery option (for instance positive list of products suitable for composting).

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