The meeting saw the participation of the Undersecretary of the “Ministry for Business and Made in Italy” Massimo Bitonci and MEPs Salvatore De Meo, Carlo Fidanza and Paolo Borchia , in addition to numerous representatives of the supply chains in question. In it, the great concern also shared by Italian political representatives in Brussels regarding this proposal emerged, as it appears to be contradictory in various aspects and, above all, is based on uncertain data and not on a scientific approach based in turn on an LCA.
The proposal, in its current form, also represents a threat to the entire Italian agri-food supply chain, one of the best in Europe thanks to its leading position in the use of recycled plastic.
The statement by Marco Omboni, Profood director, was widely shared by the entire supply chain:
“The fundamental goals of PPWR are certainly shareable, but we really have to express the widespread concerns about the consequences of the original text, which does not head in the correct direction to achieve the goals.
Italy has achieved exceptional results in the recycling supply chain in accordance with the requirements from Europe, while this new proposal from Brussels takes a sharp turn towards reuse, without taking into consideration elements such as hygiene, traceability, food waste and preservation of products which, particularly in the fruit and vegetable segment, would have a serious effect.”
Other concerns are repercussions on consumers themselves: increased prices due to food waste (following elimination of packaging which helps to preserve the organoleptic qualities of the foods) and a decrease in the food safety and hygiene.
In this regard, Andrea di Palma, Secretary of Adiconsum Nazionale had this to say: “Over the last few years, consumers have got even more used (due to the pandemic) to purchasing foods – particularly fruit and vegetables – with packaging able to guarantee its safety and hygiene.. We also mustn’t forget product integrity: well-preserved products with good packaging last longer and generate less food waste. We have arrived at the current packaging system, which allows citizens to enjoy financial and environmental savings, thanks to industry and research, not by chance. The tray-based packaging system indeed guarantees consumers the ability to make economies and provides precious information on food traceability. We absolutely have to consider that, in a world inhabited by over eight billion people, we will ever-increasingly need packaging systems which guarantee hygiene for all”.