A new decree being discussed in Italy that includes regulations on the export of waste products has provoked protests from Italian recovered paper suppliers. They fear negative impacts on their export business and overcapacity in the country.
Italy's recovered paper merchants are worried about a new decree that is currently under discussion in Italy. The decree, which aims at simplifying Italian bureaucracy and public administration, provides for new regulations as regards the "cross-border transportation of waste products".
According to Italian recovered paper suppliers, these new regulations give reason to suspect that export business will become more complicated and even put Italian merchants at a competitive disadvantage compared to their counterparts in other European countries.
In a vote of confidence held by the Italian Senate, the majority voted for an implementation of the new decree. Another voting will be held in the Chamber of Deputies on 2 April.
The decree among other things provides for the fact that companies which are exporters of waste products – including packaging waste – must add a declaration to be signed by the authorities of the target country to each of their shipments. This declaration is to make the authorities confirm that the environmental standards applicable in their country comply with the standards prescribed in the European Union. This is to ensure that the standards governing the recycling of these products in the importing country correspond to those applicable in their country of origin.
Associations such as Federmacero, an Italian recovered paper association, have challenged the decree. In a letter addressed to Senator Andrea Pastore, Federmacero complains that the decree does not describe the method of how to obtain such a declaration on the environmental standards applied. Furthermore, the decree lacks criteria which could serve to determine whether or not the standards of the importing country correspond to those of the exporting country.
Federmacero argues that the new decree would cause uncertainty rather than clarity among suppliers of recyclable material, and would therefore block exports business. As Italy collects more recovered paper than can be reused by the country's own producers, the export business is vital to avoid overcapacity and further promote the separate collection of recoverable material, the association says.