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AT A CROSSROADS

Throughout 2018 we have fulfilled these commitments, managing over one hundred thousand tonnes of Household WEEE and more than twenty thousand tons of special waste in accordance with the highest quality standards; carrying out almost forty-seven thousand collections from the Collection Facilities throughout Italy, with a service level higher than 99.8%.

We have respected these commitments by participating, together with the most important European partners, in nine research projects on the Circular Economy and the materials recycling; bringing new investigations and new information on the world of WEEE to the Institutions and Media attention; telling, within the "Stories of Circular Economy" project, the virtuous case-histories present in our Country, through a competition that - in its first edition - involved more than a hundred storytellers with the aim of giving voice to positive examples, stimulating the emulation.

We have fulfilled this commitment by playing a proactive role in the most active think tanks on sustainability and environmental issues; taking part in the working groups about the European Directives package implementation on the Circular Economy; constantly trying to make ours the best practices of other Countries within the WEEE Forum.

In short, we have moved forward along the path set by our mission: combining the environmental excellence and the economic efficiency.

Instead, the context in which we operate is unfortunately motionless.

We have no news of the Decree on the treatment quality yet, which we have been waiting for since 2014, in order to avoid that WEEE is treated incorrectly from the environmental point of view. 
We have no sign of the WEEE “parallel flows" yet, the WEEE treated outside the Compliance Schemes headed by the national Clearing House. 
The issue of the “End of Waste” Decrees has not yet been resolved, needful for defining at what times and under what conditions the materials derived from the waste treatment can be considered Secondary Raw Materials reusable in the production processes: this regulatory gap - together with the restrictions placed from China to the waste import -  caused in 2018 serious environmental and economic problems in the recycling sector (in particular with regard to plastics).

Faced with this immobility, it is difficult not to believe that in Italy the "Circular Economy" is just a slogan, a cool theory to show off in some public event.

But nevertheless, we are at a crossroads: we do not have a spare planet, we must learn (very) quickly not to waste resources, we must move (very) quickly from theory to practice of the Circular Economy.

Our daughters and our sons taught us this, marching for the change in the "Fridays for future" events. And in the "Laudato Si” Encyclical Pope Francis has reminded us: "... the industrial system, at the end of the production and consumption cycle, has not developed the capacity to absorb and reuse the waste. We have not yet succeeded in adopting a circular production model that ensures resources for all people and for the future generations, and which requires us to limit the use of non-renewable resources as much as possible, to moderate the consumption, to maximize the exploitation efficiency, to reuse and recycle. Addressing this issue would be a way of counteracting the culture of waste that ends up damaging the entire planet, but we observe that progress in this direction is still very scarce ... ".

We are really at a crossroads: not realizing it and continuing on the same path is the greatest mistake that the adults of today can do to the adults of tomorrow.