From Tetrapack to paper and more. It is possible to regenerate famous containers for foodstuffs recovering also plastic and metals that they contain. “About 25% of the material,” points out Tommaso De Luca, Manager in charge of Corporate Communication at Lucart, one of the main European producers of monolucid paper and tissue products.
“We are the only ones in Italy who provide such kind of recovery. The paper of the beverage containers is very valuable because it is intended for foodstuffs and it is not bleached, it has a natural color which is very similar to that of the wood from the trees, although these containers have only paper. Our technology allows us to recover aluminum and polyethylene transforming them into a homogenous product which, which then specialized companies convert into plastic that in turn is also recyclable.”
This is applied, among others, in the city of Venice where the famous red and white poles, are now in recycle plastic.
De Luca also explains us that “the technology is a result of a synergic study conducted in partnership with Teratapack Italia. The product recycled into paper in such a manner has a lower impact than that converted into cellulose only. For the time being, we do not have details about the products manufactured from the plastic part. Nonetheless, we can say that we eliminate from the waste disposal the material that otherwise would not be biodegradible”. Used for mooring, produced by Rein srl, a company which manufactures equipment from recycled plastic intended for marine environment, the first floating dock which allows persons with reduced mobility to embark on a gondola, which are typical vessels and symbols of the city.
A success that could improve efficiency in the entire Italy: “despite active cooperation of our company and recovery consortia with the municipally owned companies, such as that with Tetrapack Italia aimed to explain how to manage to optimize the recovery of such materials, we are not much satisfied with the Italian recovery system. The discrepancy between the collection and the recycling is still considerable.” The rules of different consortia can vary a great deal among each other. Precisely for the purpose of divulgation, Tetrapak Italia launched a website which explains how the materials are disposed in different communes.
There is still much room for learning, above all on the best method of the material transfer with as few contaminants as possible, because the unknown technology is of little avail.