“A buon rendere” campaign against the dispersion of disposable containers

“A buon rendere – Molto più di un vuoto”. This is the name of the new national campaign promoted by the Associazione Comuni Virtuosi, a network of local authorities that since 2005 has been at the forefront of promoting a harmonious and sustainable management of the territories to increase environmental awareness and above all to spread new styles of consumption among citizens.

The Metropolitan City of Turin immediately joined the campaign - aimed at introducing a security deposit system for beverage containers - with a decree signed by the managing director for the environment Gianfranco Guerrini.

"With our support - explained Councilor Guerrini - we intend to support the introduction of an efficient collection system for disposable beverage containers that allows us to intercept over 90% of the containers released for consumption. The success of the system is due to the payment of a small deposit added to the selling price of the drinks sold in disposable containers of different materials such as plastic, glass and aluminum. The deposit is subsequently returned to the citizen when the container is correctly delivered or returned to the collection points: usually at supermarkets. A concrete help in the fight against the dispersion of beverage packaging waste in the area ".

The deposit return system for beverages, as evidenced by the experiences of the 12 European countries in which it is in force, makes it possible to intercept this type of waste and prevent it from being erroneously disposed of in the "non-recoverable", or from being abandoned on the streets or more generally in the environment. The economic incentive stimulates the return of containers to recover the deposit, thus allowing to save precious resources from which to recreate new packaging, to improve separate collection and to keep the city and the natural environment cleaner. These systems are, therefore, economically advantageous because they allow on the one hand to implement the percentages of separate collection of such packaging functional to subsequent recycling, on the other they allow to reduce the interventions necessary to remove waste abandoned in the area with charges borne by the municipalities and consequently of the taxpayers. The deposit return system are based on the "polluter pays" logic so that anyone who abandons such packaging goes to finance the entire system with the unrecovered deposit and at the same time stimulating the active participation of citizens who, under the driven by the economic incentive, they are led to collect the packaging that has remained abandoned and deliver it to the correct collection points.

This system is the only one that can be implemented to allow the achievement of European and national objectives on the levels of separate collection and recycling. Even the SUP (Single Use Plastics) directive of 2019, aimed at reducing the impact of single-use plastic products, suggests the introduction of deposit-reimbursement schemes to help achieve the collection targets of 90% by 2029 defined for plastic bottles.

There are 21 organizations (of which 16 national and 5 European, including Zero Waste EU and EEB - European Environmental Bureau) that support the campaign "A buon rendere – Molto più di un vuoto", a campaign that aims to be a voice authoritative in the Italian debate to help speed up the approval times for a national law on the deposit return system. In addition to the introduction of a national deposit system, mandatory for beverage producers and covering all types of beverages in different sizes marketed in plastic bottles, glass and cans. According to the front that supports the campaign to which the Metropolitan City has ideally joined, the DRS (Deposit Return System) model that Italy should aim for should also be led by a central non-profit body formed by producers and retailers of beverages, transparent in management, fair for all those who participate in its operation and sustainable both environmentally and economically without weighing on local authorities and taxpayers.

All the details on the campaign, which promotes a petition to be signed for individual citizens, can be found on the site.