Waste and the circular economy enter party programs

Waste and the circular economy enter party programs

The first result, of course, is that we talk about it. The second is that, among those who do it, there are those who clearly say that waste is a subject dear to the mafias, around which interests, business and unspeakable appetites revolve. And here the assembly remains almost deserted. The argument is tough, technical. Many parties literally prefer not to get their hands dirty with garbage. There are so many implications, the risk of slipping on a banana peel is high. Not to mention ongoing or potential investigations. And then, the complex supply chain, the Byzantine legislation, the issue of landfills that no one wants, or at least not in their own garden. The Democratic Party never mentions the word, the center-right and Possible yes, but they limit themselves to stamping the card. Even the 5 Stars are hiding, despite being a historical workhorse. Perhaps the chaos of Rome has something to do with it.

We distinguish the Italian Left-Green Europe alliance and Gianluigi Paragone (Italexit), who proposes norms against planned obsolescence (ie the worst practice of giving an "expiration date" to technological products, are a cell phone or a light bulb) and to make eco-design mandatory. The Nicola Fratoianni-Angelo Bonelli tandem suggests tracing the garbage and suspicious ground movements with GPS and satellites. But nobody, not even the top of the class, says anything about e-waste, which often ends up overseas. Nothing even about solar panels, the first generation of which is coming to an end and will constitute a heap of scrap to manage. Let's see in detail what the parties propose:

Italexit Movimento 5 Stelle People's Union Center-right Democratic Party (Fratelli d'Italia, Lega, Forza Italia) Possible + Europe Action-Italy Viva Italian Left-Green Europe There are those who want to open a public company to extract materials raw from electronic waste proposes an amendment by Senator 5 Stars Cioffi to the decree law on the Pnrr. The idea does not appeal to the consortia of the WEEE sector, while Italy remains below the European average in the collection of this waste Italexit Ample space dedicates the party of Gianluigi Paragone to waste. Waste management is defined as a "strategic asset" that must be kept under "total public control", but it is not specified in what way or with what funds. The focus is on an awareness campaign to reduce the amount of waste produced by one hundred kilograms (per capita? Not indicated).

We continue with an interesting proposal: to introduce the obligation of eco-design, to ensure that the objects are designed to be entirely deconstructible. We then propose the reduction of packaging and polylaminates, that is the wrappers made with different materials pressed together (which make recycling difficult). The program proceeds with the war on planned obsolescence and the use of tax leverage to shift the supply of companies to recovered or recycled materials. Pyrolysis is proposed for waste at the end of its life cycle and to build plants for the production of biogas. It is not indicated how many. There is widespread talk of the recycling of tires at the end of the stroke (meritorious point) and of drastic interventions on plastics and microplastics. A national plan for asbestos is also proposed with the complete mapping of the material.

5 Star Movement That on waste is another of the historic battles of the Five Stars since the time when the guide was that of Beppe Grillo and Gianroberto Casaleggio. The theme has remained in the program, but the document does not go into detail, as it happens on almost all topics. From a force that has ruled five years, it is reasonable to expect a few more explanations. Instead, it all boils down to a "stop to obsolete technologies for waste", to the "promotion of returnable vacuum" and to no new incinerators, which is also the cause of the fall of the Draghi executive. Too little.

Popular union "To encourage, especially in Southern Italy, the establishment of public enterprises that deal with the management of fundamental infrastructures to ensure a sustainable and circular function of waste, water and public transport": this is the first proposal of the party led by the former mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris, on waste. No numbers or ideas on how to finance these businesses. The second is "to discourage the production, distribution and use of disposable or difficult to repair products and the use of incinerators. Yes to composting and separate waste treatment. No more landfills ”. Everything in the program is very, too generic.

Democratic Party In the program of the Democratic Party the word "waste" never appears or says anything about it. Yet it is a structural issue, both from an environmental point of view and from that of the fight against eco-mafia. An incomprehensible choice for Enrico Letta's team.

Center-right (Brothers of Italy, Lega, Forza Italia) The common program of the center-right (defined as a "framework agreement" by the signatories) dedicates only a short point to waste. The cartel proposes the definition of a new circular economy plan capable of "reducing the consumption of natural resources, increasing the qualitative and quantitative level of waste recycling, reducing landfilling, transforming waste into renewable energy through the creation of innovative and sustainable systems ".

The programs of the individual parties are more specific. Forza Italia proposes to transform undifferentiated waste into energy through waste-to-energy plants and separated into raw materials; yes also to biomass plants. Silvio Berlusconi's party imagines a tracking via blockchain. Finally, an important point neglected by the other parties: the speeding up of administrative procedures for the issue of "end of waste" decrees (ie the end of the qualification of waste).

Fratelli's proposals are scarce of Italy: removal of waste from the seabed, without further indications on where and how, and "closure of the waste cycle, with the introduction of the 'more differentiate less pay' principle".

In the program of Lega the word "waste" appears significantly, starting with the anti-mafia section. We want to introduce a "rule in the security package" to "monitor public works and prevent subcontracting the management of waste or the supply of building materials to mafia companies, or illegal work". Then there is talk of implementing the rules on the disposal and illegal trafficking of waste and energy valorisation. Yes convinced to waste-to-energy plants and biomass plants. Matteo Salvini's party proposes to complete the process for the creation of the single national deposit of radioactive waste, to review the criteria for compensation for the territories in which it will be located and to start immediately and disburse the funds.

The parties for and against the return of nuclear power in Italy The climate crisis and stellar energy prices put the atom at the center of the debate: right and third pole in favor, left and the 5 Star Movement no . But the experts urge definitive choices and attention to costs. While Italy still has to deal with its waste. Possible "Changing our cultural model also implies conceiving the entire educating community as a microcosm of circular economy, as regards saving raw materials, reducing waste, correctly managing waste, the recovery of materials and the creative reuse, the collection of rainwater ": so Possible, training led by Beatrice Brignone, in the program. Nothing else, apart from the proposal of contributions to companies that start circular economy projects.

+ Europa There is little talk of waste even in the + Europa program. Finally, it is generally proposed to "favor the circular economy by fully integrating the consideration of natural capital in accounting, not just national". Nothing on the modalities, nor estimates of the economic impact.

Action-Italy Viva Matteo Renzi and Carlo Calenda propose to implement an investment plan for seventy new waste treatment plants to be built by 2035. The estimated value of the project would be ten billion euros. This includes waste-to-energy plants, which are necessary, argues the tandem, alongside policies for the circular economy. We ask you to add more information on the environmental impact (therefore also on waste) to the packaging of the products for sale and to reduce VAT for the more sustainable ones. The proposal to overcome the Tari (municipal tax on waste) based on square meters is valid, and explained in detail: the new tax should take into account what is actually conferred. Municipalities that reduce the share of unsorted waste not sent for recycling must be rewarded. Finally, it is proposed to involve prisoners in circular economy projects, in order to facilitate their reintegration into society.

Italian Left-Green Europe The program of the alliance between the Italian Left and Green Europe on waste opens with the proposal to adopt a plastic plan for zero emissions by 2045. The plan would be financed by a plastic tax to be activated from January 2023. No further information or economic estimates are provided.

There is a strong focus on recycling and repair: for household appliances, but also for buildings. It is also proposed to charge the waste tax on the basis of the share of non-differentiated products produced by the family unit and not of the square meters. There are many proposals to combat organized crime, which has always been interested in the sector: from the modernization of landfill transfer systems via GPS to satellite surveys capable of identifying suspicious earth movements.

Absolute ban on moving waste outside region, to avoid that those coming from the industrial areas of the North end up in the South, where the mafias control their illegal trafficking. The case of the "land of fires" - and more - teaches us. It is proposed to set up in each Region commissions to investigate eco-mafias and in particular on waste trafficking, at the same time strengthening the national ones.

There is also talk of "improving the overall effectiveness and increasing environmental control actions through operational structures that can also act outside the regional borders, in order to more effectively combat the illicit trafficking of waste "And" push towards the creation of European legislation on the fight against illegal waste trafficking, intensify international cooperation between police forces and judicial bodies, promote the exchange of information and data useful for intercepting new routes ". There is no shortage of increased penalties for environmental crimes and lengthening of the statute of limitations.

A public registry of special urban waste should also be established and a geolocalized mapping of authorized recovery, treatment and disposal plants and areas at risk, including abandoned areas, should be established. On the waste-to-energy plants, a yes conditional on the fact that they must be considered “solutions of last resort”.

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