Resolution “No single-use plastics” of Trento: the sentence of the TAR


On May 17, 2022, the Regional Court of Administrative Justice of Trento ruled on the appeal against the province of Trento which, in a resolution of December 3, 2021 had chosen to implement a policy of reducing the environmental footprint by applying it also in automatic distribution and refreshment services . The aim was to discourage the consumption of disposable products which has sparked hostile reactions from large supply companies in the sector. poi

The judgment

Therefore, the judgment partially upheld and partly dismissed the action. The element (not of merit) on which the court agrees with the applicants falls on the fact that the competence to issue the CAM for public procurement procedures is exclusively state (and they did not already exist at national level), and this requires the annulment of the relative part of the Resolution. As for the content, the court agrees with the Province, in particular in the method and also in the merits. In essence, summing up, if the CAM for refreshment services, of similar content to those defined by the Province of Trento, were issued by Ministerial Decree, they would be fully legitimate. poi

The administrative court, therefore, partially curbs the green turn of the Province but recognizes the value of the initiative on the fight against plastic defining it as “logical, proportional and reasonable”. It is only a temporal shift and not of content as it reflected the intentions of the CAM being defined at the MITE poi

“We will urge the government to adopt CAM on plastics”; comments the councilor of the Province Mario Tonina, emphasizing that it is the young people themselves who ask for the turn towards a reduced environmental footprint. poi

Companies’ response

On the other hand, the companies that opposed the resolution define it as “abnormal and disproportionate”, denouncing a possible not insignificant damage and emphasizing that it is based on an approach “devoid of a scientific character” as the studies to which they would refer “do not take into account all the analysis of the life cycle of the products”. poi

In this regard, the Observatory of the PIÙINFORMA Association has conducted two studies related to the analysis of the life cycle (from cradle to grave) on CO2eq emissions of different types of glasses and bottles, illustrating the undeniable advantage from an environmental point of view of the practice of reuse  of your container. This data conforms to numerous other studies of the scientific community and in perfect line with the concepts of circular economy that see reuse as the best “system” for the management of the end of life of products.  Trento poi

Overview of vending in Italy

We believe it is important at this point to make an overview of the Vending sector in Italy today, in order to underline its relevance for the environment and for the health of the millions of people who use these services every day, so that it is clear the importance of acting in a conscious and responsible way for the well-being of all. poi

Data from the Vending sector in Italy (2019-2020). Source: Osservatorio Associazione PIÙINFORMA. Trento
  1. Direct turnover of the sector: about 4,293,631,610 euros
  2. Consumption per year: about 998.000.000
  3. Average users per day: 20 million (2019 data)
  4. the sector, only in Italy produces about 44,042 tons of plastic containers 95% unmanaged (PET bottles, snack and food packaging, glasses)
  5. From the data emerged from our elaborations it is estimated that added sugars (therefore not necessary) equal to about 476.96 tons are delivered. equal to an average per capita of 6.73 gr/day.
  6. Vehicles used are about 18,000 units of which about 94% diesel
  7. Always with a view to reducing the impact, activities aimed at reducing or not using “containers”, for example glasses are well below 0.2% of the used.
  8. A little better if we talk about compostable containers and therefore with a short supply chain as well as renewable (compost) (1% of the used)
  9. Another sore point is food products which, a comparison between conventional and organic products, sees the latter affecting just 0.73%.
  10. It is also relevant the low effectiveness in the use of mains water solutions, alternatives to the use of bottles despite. Report 2018/19. -8% bottled water and +22% bottled drinks (over 90% is water) Trento

ASSOCIAZIONE PIÙINFORMA, cited as the source of industry data in the judgment, adds an essential accreditation piece in supporting the change towards a real redevelopment of services related to the administration of food and beverages in terms of environmental sustainability for the benefit of people’s health. poi

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