Defining a national strategy to ensure the increase in the quantity and quality of separated plastic packaging collection and maximising its recycling, also thanks to the implementation of stewardship policies. This is the proposal of Legambiente and Corepla presented and discussed recently in Rome, with the main stakeholders and practitioners at the conference “A cluster of national excellence: the recycling of plastics“, attended, among others, by Giorgio Quagliuolo, President of Corepla, Vittorio Cogliati Dezza, President of Legambiente, Giuseppe Marinello, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Lands, the Environment and Environmental Heritage, and Ermete Realacci, Chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Land and Public Works of the Chamber of Deputies. “Our proposal,” said Legambiente President Vittorio Cogliati , “-aims to promote policies for reduction and recycling. A change of pace needed, as soon as possible, to overcome the far too many emergencies related to the use of landfills, which also represents a real opportunity to exit the financial crisis. Today we have entered a second phase of the green economy, because in so many fields it has already moved the market and like today, it is clear there is only room for those who focus on innovation and environmental quality “. “The numbers of Corepla are flattering,” said the President of Corepla, Giorgio Quagliuolo, “but we want to do better still, increasing the targets for separate waste collection and exploring further opportunities for recycling and recovery, identifying new applications and markets for recycled materials. We want to contribute more and more to create an efficient, sustainable circular economy, which is one of the priorities at the European level and even more so in a country like Italy, which is lacking in raw material but rich in intelligence. The goal ’zero landfill in 2020′ can also be achieved by freeing up the financial resources now committed, to send difficult to recycle plastics to thermal energy recovery difficult to recycle plastic packaging, resources that the Consortium could allocate to initiatives aimed at increasing the rates of recycling.” The objectives highlighted during the morning were also presented in light of the numbers regarding the progress made on the recycling of plastic collected by Corepla, a figure of growth, despite the economic crisis. In fact, in 2014 there was an increase in separate collection and recycling, despite the decrease in the amount returned to the market for consumption and the ongoing recession in Italy. The 7,306 municipalities who provide the separate collection of plastic packaging recorded growth of +8% compared to 2013, with over 830,000 tonnes of plastic packaging collected. A remarkable record, both for the industry and for the 7,306 municipalities who started the collection service, due mainly to two factors: the launch in historically difficult areas such as the ‘Mezzogiorno’ (southern regions), as well as the further increase among “the top of the class” (for example, the Veneto has increased from 20 to 21kg per inhabitant). The national average per capita collection has, therefore risen from 12.9kg to 13.9kg per year per inhabitant. In 2014, 234 million Euros were given by the consortium to municipalities or their delegated operators, to cover the higher costs incurred for the execution of the services of separate collection of plastic packaging. There were 450,000 tonnes of separated plastic packaging waste collected and recycled in 2014. To this figure, the 360,000 tonnes of recycled plastic packaging from independent industrial operators collected from commerce and industry must be added, for an overall total for recycling of approximately 790,000 tonnes. Growth for the entire industry, involving 300 companies and over 2,000 workers. Also collected was packaging for which it is still difficult to find industrial outlets in mechanical recycling and the market for recycled plastics. Approximately 349,000 tonnes were used as raw material for energy production in place of fossil fuels.