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Plastic Tax, a levy to be abolished

Exclusive interview with Tiziano Andreini, managing director of Alpla Italia

Plastic Tax, are we moving towards repeal? After a more careful assessment of the social impacts (see for example Assobibe's complaint in this EFA News article), the operators expect a new postponement to the entry into force and hope for a definitive repeal. EFA News talked about it with Tiziano Andreini, MD of Alpla Italia, one of the world's leading producers and experts in recycling, with 178 plants distributed in 45 countries, over 21 thousand employees and a 2020 turnover of 3.69 billion euros. The company, founded in Austria, has had an important presence in Italy since 1985, with 9 factories and 450 employees.

Dr. Andreini, the plastic tax has been further postponed, but implementation seems unavoidable from 1 January: what will be the impact on the sector?

Andreini . From the latest indications it seems more than possible a further extension to 1 July 2022. This could be a further step towards its repeal. If the Italian Plastic Tax were to actually enter into force, it would penalize an entire production chain with impacts upstream and downstream. Negotiation impacts, price list increases, internal company costs, adjustments to management systems and billing systems, greater capital commitment and credit risk.

EFA News. In your opinion, what are the most controversial aspects of this tax?

In Italy there is already a tax on plastic packaging, the Conai environmental contribution. The Plastic Tax risks becoming a further tax, which will indirectly affect consumption, as the higher costs of the manufacturing companies in a cascade would be passed on to the entire supply chain and therefore to the final consumer. The new tax is conveyed as an environmentally oriented tax, but the risk is that the revenue is not aimed at environmental purposes.

EFA News. Plastic undoubtedly represents an environmental problem: what are the solutions?

The sustainable and ecologically conscious use of resources is the basis of company activities, to ensure that future generations can live in a healthy environment. Sustainability is part of Alpla's strategy and is an essential part of the corporate culture. Our goal is to ensure that all packaging we produce is 100% recyclable by 2025. Furthermore, in the development of new packaging the principles of "design 4 recycling" are followed: it means that we pay attention from the beginning of the life cycle, that is the design of a product, to the fact that plastic packaging is suitable for recycling, sector in which Alpla has 25 years of experience.

Thus, with our recycling facilities, we help ensure that plastics remain in the reusable material cycle. Modern technologies and refined design make it possible to minimize the weight of packaging. In this way, material consumption and costs are reduced, and we save fossil resources. To this end, we work closely with our suppliers, research institutes and, of course, our customers.

Finally, the choice of material has a great influence on the sustainability of plastic packaging. Alpla does not use materials and substances that are harmful to the environment, such as PVC, plasticizers or heavy metals.

EFA News. Alpla has launched an important information initiative on the subject: what are your goals?

“Plastic has changed, change your mind about plastic” is a communication campaign promoted by Alpla Italia aimed at consumers, dedicated to investigating issues concerning the world of plastic. The initiative follows similar campaigns, carried out in Mexico and Poland, which are part of the Alpla corporate "A Voice" project strongly desired by the headquarters in order to dispel commonplaces about plastic and inform consumers of how research and development and application of circular economy best practices are radically changing the impact this material has on the environment. The approach is informative, but also informative.

The goal is to increase the level of knowledge that consumers have of plastic materials, whose impact is not limited only to the sphere of our daily consumption habits, but also affects a substantial share of our national economy. In this regard, it should be remembered that the Italian industrial chain is among the most important in absolute terms in both economic and technological terms, a real excellence that employs 162,000 employees in 10,000 active companies (22% of European companies) for a total of 32 billions of annual turnover (source: Plastic Rubber Federation).

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EFA News - European Food Agency