Biodegradable packaging and compost production
Among the mists of the illogicality of modern civilization, some glimmer of light begins to glimpse. Thus after decades of waste, destruction of forests, use of plastics, etc. now we are starting to talk seriously about biodegradable packaging or, if you prefer, biodegradable packaging.
There are now many examples and initiatives that go in this direction: we go from the BIOCOSÌ project (Developed by ENEA) which aims to use the wastewater of the dairy supply chain to produce bioplastic for packaging and packaging for food storage – as trays for cheese or milk bottles – 100% biodegradable and compostable, to arrive, through the funds of Horizon 2020 of the European Commission, for a research project coordinated by the Italian Tecnoalimenti SCpA, Scientific and Technological Research Organization, structured as a company non-profit consortium that deals primarily with scientific research for the industrial development of the agri-food sector.
But there is more, in Amsterdam a supermarket chain has already opened a “plastic free” lane where customers can go into an entire department whose products are completely plastic-free: this is 700 articles, which also want to launch a political message towards a more sustainable packaging.
All this not only to “clean up” our environment from an unacceptable and unbearable load of waste of very difficult disposal but also to clean up the seas, which, in the silence of their depths, suffer greater damage because they are not visible. In fact according to ENEA studies, presented last December, 83% of the plastic waste registered in the Italian seas consists of packaging, mostly disposable plastic.
But on the packaging sector there is still a long way to go, such as the possibility of loose or on tap, then almost zero packaging, for a whole series of products that could be sold in packaging to be re-used several times. We consider that the products that can be sold in bulk are very many: pasta, rice, legumes, cereals, salt, sugar, dried fruit, cereals, flour, oil, coffee, biscuits, whole raw milk, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages (if you are in rule with the necessary permits).
A real change of paradigm if you think that, currently, bioplastics represent only 1% of the plastics produced every year in Europe (about 300 million tons). With regard to production, today more than 50% of bioplastics are produced in Asia, while Europe today accounts for about 20% of the total, which should rise to 25% by 2022.
Now the lion’s share must make it the policy that must begin to deal in a much more concrete way of rules and incentives for a real transition to the sustainability of all human activities.