CONAI reduces four more Environmental Contributions: those for steel, aluminium, plastic and glass

Milan, August 2021 – The CONAI Board of Directors has resolved to decrease the Environmental Contribution (or CAC) for four packaging materials: after paper and cardboard – whose CAC was reduced last May with effect from 1 July, the date on which the new CAC for biodegradable and compostable plastics also came into force – the decision has now been taken to lower the contribution for packaging made of steelaluminiumplastic and glass.

Four new changes, linked to assessments of the current scenario of the packaging recovery and recycling chain, effective from 1 January 2022.

The favourable context, with prices of recycled materials rising sharply, translates into a reduction of Environmental Contributions: a direct consequence of the introduction of economic criteria as an element of evaluation of such contributions. The CONAI system is indeed characterised by a model capable of modulating interventions and costs according to the market’s ability to meet environmental needs.

The reductions approved to date, including paper and cardboard, will result in CAC savings for companies estimated at around € 163 million.

€ 6/tonne reduction for steel packaging

The value of the CAC for steel will decrease from € 18/tonne to € 12/tonne.

This change is linked to a new economic scenario in which the market value of scrap is growing: the effects on revenues for sale of recycled materials are very positive and now make it possible to reduce the Environmental Contribution of packing made of this material.

In 2022, the expected savings for users of this type of packaging should amount to almost € 3 million, on 500,000 tonnes put on the market.

€ 5/tonne reduction for aluminium packaging

The value of the CAC for aluminium will decrease from € 15/tonne to € 10/tonne.

Aluminium is a material that has always maintained high market values: the current economic context, which has an extraordinarily positive impact on the performance of recycled material, makes it possible to once again revise the Environmental Contribution for packaging made of this material downwards.

In 2022, the expected savings for users of this type of packaging should amount to more than € 350,000, on 70,000 tonnes put on the market.

€ 4/tonne reduction for glass packaging

The value of the CAC for glass will decrease from € 37/tonne to € 33/tonne.

Indeed, the new economic situation leads us to foresee improvements in terms of both the quantities of this material put on the market and of the values of the material to be recycled. Forecasts that make it possible to decrease the Environmental Contribution.

In 2022, the expected savings for users of this type of packaging should amount to more than €11.5 million, on approx. 2,900,000 tonnes put on the market.

Reductions for plastic packaging and the new contribution diversification

From four to five contribution levels: four CACs are reduced, one remains unchanged

Contribution levelsCAC in force as of January 2021
CAC in force as of January 2022

Already in September 2020, CONAI’s Board of Directors undertook to review the criteria and rationale of contribution diversification for plastic packaging for 2022, i.e., the breakdown of this packaging into different levels to which different CACs are applied.

A commitment made both in the light of what is happening at European level and with the aim of increasingly linking the values of the plastic Environmental Contribution to their recyclability and to the destination circuit but also to the chain deficit, i.e. to the costs/revenues of collection, sorting and recycling activities.

The 2022 evolution of the diversified CAC for plastic packaging starts from the addition of a new contribution level. Starting from 1 January 2022, plastic polymer packaging will be divided into five levels.

Level A will split into A1 and A2.

The first item will include all packaging previously included in Level A, except for flexible polyethylene packaging which will be included in Level A2; the latter is flexible packaging with an effective and consolidated industrial sorting and recycling chain, mainly from the Commerce & Industry circuit but with a significant presence in separate municipal waste collection, and consequently with a greater chain deficit.

Flexible polyethylene foam packaging with thicknesses equal to or less than 2 millimetres (currently in Level B2) will, moreover, be tolerated in this level.

For packaging in Level A1, the CAC will decrease from the current € 150/tonne to € 134/tonne.

The CAC for Level A2 packaging, despite the growing chain deficit, will remain, but only in this first phase of implementation, unchanged compared to that of the current Level A: € 150/tonne.

Level B1 will remain dedicated to packaging mainly from the household circuit with an effective and consolidated sorting and recycling chain.

The introduction, on first application of the economic criterion will lead to a CAC reduction for packing in this category from € 208/tonne to € 192/tonne.

Level B2 will group all the other sortable/recyclable packaging from the Household and/or Commerce & Industry circuit: i.e. packaging with different levels of sortability and recyclability; recyclable packaging recently put on the market; packaging with costly recycling and/or from which secondary raw materials of lower quality are obtained; packaging with recycling chains undergoing consolidation and development.

Polyethylene foam packaging with thicknesses greater than 2 millimetres (currently in Level C) and barrier layers made of EVOH will also be tolerated in this level but limited to 5% of the total weight of the packaging.

The transition from Level B2 to Level B1 of plastic caps compliant with the SUP directive, i.e. designed to remain integral with the plastic beverage container up to 3 litres, will be subject to the entry into force of the EN technical standard (in the definition phase).

Level B2 will also see a reduction in the CAC: from the current € 560/tonne to € 533/tonne.

Packaging with experimental sorting/recycling activities in progress, and that which is not sortable/recyclable with current technologies, will remain in Level C:

Despite the fact that this is the plastic packaging level with the greatest environmental and economic impact, this level will also be affected by a reduction in the Environmental Contribution from € 660/tonne to € 644/tonne, thanks to the introduction in first application of the chain deficit and as a result of the cost optimisation implemented by the Corepla consortium.

After the summer break, a review of the chain deficit is planned, which could lead to further interventions on the Environmental Contribution, since the auction market for post-consumer packaging is constantly evolving.

Finally, the Board of Directors has nevertheless decided to continue the analysis process to further strengthen contribution diversification, in particular, to increasingly link the CAC values of the individual levels with the actual chain deficits, possibly providing for further segmentations and revaluations.

In 2022, the expected savings for users of plastic packaging should amount to almost € 13 million, on over 1,850,000 tonnes put on the market.

Simplified import procedures

The reductions will also have an effect on the flat-rate/simplified procedures for importing filled packaging, once again effective from 1 January 2022.

The rates to be applied to the overall import value (in €) will therefore decrease from 0.20% to 0.19% for packaged food products and from 0.10% to 0.09% for packaged non-food products.

The contribution through the flat-rate calculation on the weight of only the packaging (tare) of imported goods (total weight without material distinction) will decrease from € 101/tonne to € 99/tonne.

The new values of the other simplified procedures will soon be available on the CONAI website.

Download the document with contribution variations: Table_Conai_contributions_en

For questions and clarification, consortium companies can contact the toll-free number 800337799.