To stimulate and relaunch investments in the sector in order to accelerate the technological transition process of industrial vehicles. This was the proposal announced unanimously by national road haulage and automotive associations ANFIA, ANITA, FEDERAUTO, UNATRAS, UNRAE during the round table on «The green transition of road haulage», held today at Ecomondo, Europe’s top event for ecological transition and new models of circular and regenerative economy, ongoing at Rimini Expo Centre until 10th November. The initiative saw every association representing the road haulage and industrial and commercial automotive supply chain address institutions to make them aware of the need to adopt an efficiency plan that would encourage companies to complete the sector’s gradual and effective transition towards a sustainable, innovative and competitive transformation of freight transport services. In more detail, financial requirements were estimated at around EUR 700 million, which would be needed to support investments in zero-emission vehicles and their infrastructure up to 2026, as well as to promote the spread of renewable fuels. During the meeting, Deputy Minister Edoardo Rixi reiterated that road haulage is a strategic sector for the country and announced the Ministry of Transport’s intention to initiate a specific discussion with the association representatives in the near future to identify new mechanisms to support investments for ecological transition and fleet renewal.
Circular transformation in the textile industry starts at Ecomondo
Valentino, LVMH, Fendi together with Carlo Capasa, President of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (National Chamber for Italian Fashion), and Sergio Tamborini, President of Sistema Moda Italia (textile and fashion federation), met at Ecomondo, Italian Exhibition Group’s circular economy show being held at Rimini Expo Centre until Friday 10th November, with one objective: to promote the eco-sustainable transition of the textile industry, a sector that, as a whole, is still a long way from the circularity targets. The starting point shared by all the speakers was the fact that while the industry’s transformation to a green approach is a fundamental objective for the future of fashion, it requires a coordinated effort by all the players involved: manufacturers – brands and supply chain -, consumers, as well as the world of politics, which must provide a clear legislative framework. Proposed solutions for accelerating the transition included the development of new recycled and sustainable materials, the improvement of product design to increase their durability, repairability and recyclability, and the implementation of systems to collect and use processing waste. Promoting new forms of consumption was also debated: from second hand, a market worth 33 billion dollars in 2020 but which is expected to grow to 64 billion by 2024, to renting (which, according to data provided by Capasa during the meeting, will increase from 7 billion dollars in 2020 to 36 billion in 2025).
Ecomondo: energy recovery is the solution to non-recyclable waste in Italy
Italy has made significant progress in waste management over the last 20 years, but still today some 9.5 million tonnes of municipal waste generated in Italy cannot be recycled. This is what emerged from “Recycling waste and non-recyclable waste: the plant engineering back-up fundamental for the circular economy”, the research by ASSOAMBIENTE presented on the second day of Ecomondo, Italian Exhibition Group’s circular economy event being held at Rimini Expo Centre until 10th November. This waste is made up of waste produced from recycling operations, materials from sorting plants and undifferentiated waste, and most of it is nowadays landfilled or exported abroad, due to the lack of plants capable of treating it sustainably. Moreover, according to Assoambiente’s analysis, about 5.2 million tonnes of this waste could be treated as a priority by energy recovery plants, obtaining 3.6 million MWh of electricity, equal to the consumption of about 5 million Italians. The construction of new energy recovery plants is therefore essential to improve waste management in Italy and contribute to the achievement of circular economy objectives.
Ecomondo: circular economy, opportunities and challenges for workers
The circular economy, the main theme of Ecomondo – Italian Exhibition Group’s ecological transition event ongoing at Rimini Expo Centre until Friday 10th -, is a new way of managing value creation in line with sustainability requirements and overcoming the traditional logic that goes from the supply of resources to the discarding of finished products. The reuse of waste has a definite positive impact from an environmental and economic point of view, but the replacement of raw materials with materials from recovery processes, such as rare earth elements from WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment – also leads to rethinking work cycles, activities and the consequent introduction of new risks for workers due, for example, to underground excavations, dust and other hazardous agents.
The risks, but also the possible solutions that would make it possible to create a new supply chain guaranteeing worker protection, were discussed today during the seminar held in the INAIL area at Ecomondo. One example of how to meet the challenges inherent to the transition is the NEW-RE research project – led by Erion, the largest national collective system for the management of WEEE, and eco-financed by EIT Raw Materials (a platform of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT) – which aims to increase the recycling of rare earth elements, such as neodymium, by opening a pilot project in Ceccano, in the province of Frosinone. The NEW-RE process will allow around 99% of the rare earth elements contained in treated waste (mainly from EEE – electrical and electronics engineering -, permanent magnets and end-of-life electric cars) to be put back into circulation, increasing their recycling rate, which is currently only at 1% in Europe.