On Monday, March 18th, for the second consecutive year, will be celebrated World Recycling Day. This is an event that aims to raise awareness about the key role that this practice plays in preserving the planet’s resources, and that this year will have as its theme “recycling in the future”. Today, in fact, humans use the natural resources of the earth faster than they are able to recover, consuming 1.7 times the regeneration capacity of the planet.
Among these, one of the materials most used is wood which serves, among others, for producing the paper we use every day, including paper for hygienic-sanitary purposes: just think that in Italy, in just one year, about 1.5 million tonnes of tissue paper for hygienic and sanitary use are produced and of these only 7% is produced with recycled materials. These figures show how, although Italy is one of the most virtuous countries in Europe when it comes to recycling paper and cardboard, there is still much to be done to reduce the ecological footprint that man leaves on the planet.
During the EPD certification (Environmental Product Declaration) process on two toilet papers produced by the same Italian multinational, Lucart was able to ascertain the environmental advantages of toilet paper made using recycled materials compared with that produced starting from virgin materials.
In fact, for each tonne of recycled toilet paper produced, the following environmental benefits can be observed:
— a reduction of 80% in the consumption of renewable resources, with a saving of 4,060.9 kg of wood;
— a reduction of 38% in consumption of water resources, that is, 50.63 m3 of water;
— a saving of 404.50 kg of CO2, the gas which is one of the main culprits of climate change.
“We have always maintained that because they cannot be further recycled, it is important that products such as toilet paper are made using recycled materials,” says Massimo Pasquini, CEO of Lucart. “We were however surprised to read the results of the environmental savings of recycled paper established by the EPD analysis we commissioned on some of our products. Saving more than 50 m3 of water per tonne of paper produced means that if the recycled products had more space in our shopping cart, perhaps by doubling the amount of recycled toilet paper purchased for the same level of consumption, we could save a quantity of water that could fill 2000 Olympic swimming pools, an incredible amount!”
An ambitious but absolutely achievable result: for this to happen, however, it is necessary to implement a regulatory framework, harmonised at European level, that encourages the production and sale of recycled products.
“In this way, virtuous products would also find more space on supermarket shelves. Finally, purchases of sanitary products by public bodies with minimum environmental criteria should include a significant percentage of recycled paper. If separate waste collection is not followed by the production and purchase of recycled products, in fact, it becomes an activity with no added value” – concludes Massimo Pasquini.