In this early 2018 it seems the main problem for Italians is the price of biodegradable bags for fruit and vegetables. Many Italians complain about the cents to buy the biodegradable bags but say nothing about toxic clouds that devastate the territory from North to South. What are we talking about for the benefit of our non-Italian readers?
From January 1 in Italy came into force a law that was approved last August, and which provides that light and ultralight plastic bags, those used in supermarkets to pack fruit and vegetables but also other fresh products such as meat, are biodegradable and are paid by consumers. The law states that “with the exception of the commercialization of biodegradable and compostable plastic bags, the commercialization of ultralight plastic bags is forbidden”. Furthermore, it has been decreed that “ultralight plastic bags cannot be distributed for free and to this end, the sale price of single units must be listed on the receipt or invoice for the purchase of the goods and products packaged within them.”
The law transposes the 2015 European directive, which takes over new measures regarding the use of light bags; in January 2017 the European Union also took an infringement procedure against Italy for failure to transpose the new rules.
It will be different from supermarket to supermarket, but the observatory of the Italian Association of Bioplastics and Biodegradable and Compostable Materials has estimated that the cost per biodegradable bag should be between 1 and 3 cents. According to the Gfk-Eurisko analysis, Italian families make an average of 139 annual expenses; assuming the use of three bags for fruit and vegetables at each expense, the cost of the bags is between 4.17 and 12.51 euros per family per year.
Is this really the main problem of Italian families? Evidently not, but political speculation in a country which is approaching the elections (March 4) has taken this pretext to attack the Democratic Party (the current majority party) and its secretary, former prime minister, Matteo Renzi. Overwhelming in a shamefully way Novamont, a company which represents the flagship of bio-based innovation and makes Italy a leading country in the world. Despite many Italians and the political class of the country, it is appropriate to say.
The media campaign against biodegradable bags is not just against this company but against the whole bio-based industry (not only Italian). It is a campaign against bio-based innovation, intellectual property, sustainable development policies.
The campaign is another evidence of the low level of many media, which are in many cases hostage to political parties, and of the low green soul of many citizens. It is practically absent any reference to the benefits for the environment and for our lives (we are not going to talk about negative and positive externalities). Better to teach Italians how to dribble the cost of the biodegradable bag, for example weighing one by one each fruit. Every lemon, a receipt. As in the case of a gentleman who posted on twitter a picture of a lemon weighed without a bag to save cents. A lemon purchased at 4.20 euros per kilo!
Once again it is clear that to create a market for bioproducts is needed the right education and information of public opinion. Once again we want to give our strong support to companies and people who work hard to make our world better, to make the bioeconomy happen.