Contribution Diversification for plastic packaging
The aim is to encourage the use of more recyclable packaging, linking the level of contribution to the environmental impact of the end-of-life/new-life phases. CONAI has decided to start diversification of the environmental contribution starting from the most complex material for the various types and sorting and recycling technologies. Since 2012, some reduced CACs have already been introduced for reusable packaging in controlled and particularly virtuous circuits from the environmental point of view.
The technical analyses for identification of the following criteria, adopted since 2018 for contribution diversification, began as early as 2015 and involved the main companies and associations representing packaging producers and users:
- recyclability and,
- for packaging meeting the first two criteria, the main target circuit of the packaging when it becomes waste. The target circuit can be “Household” or “Commerce & Industry”. “Household” circuit packaging also includes that from “Commerce & Industry” systematically treated as household waste.
This comparison resulted in three different contribution levels which, after a six-month test period, became operational on 1 January 2018:
- Level A – Sortable and recyclable packaging from the “Commerce & Industry” circuit € 179.00/t
- Level B – Sortable and recyclable packaging from the “Household” circuit € 208.00/t
- Level C – Packaging not yet sortable/recyclable with current technologies € 228.00/t.
In the initial application phase, it was decided to adopt a gradual approach, with regard to both the packaging classifications, for which the prevailing flow logic was adopted, as well as the contribution values of each level.
During 2018, with the aim of making a clearer distinction between sorted and recycled packaging solutions and those not yet having such characteristics and overcoming the prevailing flow logic, a further step forward was taken, adopting an even clearer criterion of prevention which, based on the analyses carried out, from 1 January 2019 led to an increase in the contribution gap between levels and reclassification of packaging, starting with that of Level B, as follows:
- LEVEL A – Sortable and recyclable packaging from the “Commerce & Industry” circuit: € 150.00/t
- LEVEL B1 – Packaging from the “Household” circuit with an effective and consolidated sorting and recycling chain: € 208.00/t
- LEVEL B2 – Other sortable and recyclable packaging from the “Household” circuit: € 263.00/t
- LEVEL C – Packaging not sortable/recyclable with current technologies: € 369.00/t.
With this new approach, four different contribution levels were defined for four different categories of plastic packaging and a reclassification process was started for packaging with regard to its effective sortability and recyclability, thus revisiting the prevailing flow logic which, in its initial application, was essentially aimed at simplifying application procedures.
Innovations for 2020 (update following the Conai Board of Directors’ resolution of 26 November 2019)
Within the scope of the activities aimed at implementing the new fully operational model planned for 2020, with constant dialogue with the main producer and user associations (industrial and large-scale distribution), the packaging lists have been extended with new definitions and clarifications of a general nature and at the same time some types of packaging have been reallocated to different contribution levels according to the results of the analyses carried out concerning their sortability and recyclability, according to current technologies already developed or in the consolidation and development phase.
These changes, which will be operational from 1 January 2020, are also the result of overcoming the criterion of aggregation by flows or types adopted at the start of diversification. As a result, the lists have been redefined, also taking into account the increase in the average value of the environmental contribution for plastic packaging, from € 263 to € 330/t:
LEVEL A – Packaging with an effective and consolidated industrial sorting and recycling chain, mainly from the “Commerce & Industry” circuit: € 150.00/t
LEVEL B1- Packaging with an effective and consolidated industrial sorting and recycling chain, mainly from the “Household” circuit: € 208.00/t
LEVEL B2 – Packaging with an industrial sorting and recycling chain in the process of consolidation and development – from the “Household” and/or “Commerce & Industry” circuit: € 436.00/t
LEVEL C – Packaging with experimental sorting/recycling activities in progress or not sortable/recyclable with current technologies: € 546.00/t
The new updated packaging lists for 2020 are available at the link: Lists_of_plastic_packaging_in_the_Contribution_levels_2020
For information on experimental sorting/recycling activities in progress, please refer to the following document: Trials_in_progress_as_at_26_11_2019
Reduced Environmental Contribution packaging list update
Sortability and recyclability evolve over time depending on the types of packaging put on the market and the new technologies introduced in sorting and recycling systems.
To monitor such developments and periodically update the list of reduced CAC packaging, CONAI established at the outset a specific Permanent Technical Assessment Committee which, also with the support of industry experts, proposes to the Board possible changes to the reduced CAC category lists.
The Permanent Technical Assessment Committee consists of four CONAI directors: two packaging producer representatives and two user representatives.
All the information concerning the declaration forms is available in the “CONAI Guide”, published annually.
Who to contact for clarification
A specific “FAQ” section has been created, dedicated to the topic in question, which can be reached directly through the following link, in order to publish the Conai clarifications regarding the main questions formulated by companies and associations.
For any further clarification, and to submit dubious cases, please fill in the online form on our website in the “Contact us” section, selecting “Diversified Contribution” from the list of topics or contact the Toll-free Number 800337799.
You can consult the Plastics Critical Review Report: Rapporto_Critical_Review_Plastica.
For further information please read the press release: Contribution diversification for plastic packaging