The material par excellence, which has made history for generations and generations. Ephemeral glory for those who have (partially) replaced it: the plastic disaster is there for all to see, and the precipitous, never too much, backtrack shows us a picture of bleak pollution. Another story for wood, which in our country ranks record by record and is a candidate to form the backbone of many sectors. In the relaunch that must be pursued and centered between here and the next decades, wood can be the protagonist, even in its most technological versions that allow him to compete with steel, or to show technological appeal with unpublished transparencies. Here are all the figures of a system that is virtuous to define little.
The versatility of wood is a matter for archaeologists, not for futurologists: has always accompanied us in everyday life, assuming practically infinite forms and functions. From eyeglass frames to designer furniture, passing through fruit and vegetable boxes and even credit cards (the initiative between the symbolic and the commercial comes from a giant in the sector). The wood and the "rilgno" are equipped to live many lives, and very long. Only two ingredients for this magical recipe: recycling and reuse.
A circular journey
To go through all its metamorphoses, wood makes an articulated journey: Rilegno, the environmental consortium that deals with its recovery and its "revitalization", collects and recycles almost 2 million tons of wood per year. The consortium active in the recycling and reuse processes has activated a network of agreements with 4.545 Italian municipalities, and although most of the materials come from the packaging (pallets, fruit and vegetables, food, etc.) a share of well 676.000 tons it comes from the urban collection. In other words, wood materials from domestic consumption also find new life. From furniture to corks.
The first harvest and treatment to press the wood and reduce its volume takes place practically “zero kilometer” in the many platforms affiliated with the Consortium. At that point the distribution to the recycling centers starts (mostly located in Northern Italy, an aspect that needs to be further improved to ensure greater homogeneity of distribution and lower logistic costs). 480 trucks every day bring the wood into the plants capable of giving it new life. 95% of the recycled wood material is brought back to the state of mouldable material: chipboard, then panels. With these we make furniture, pallets, wood-cement blocks for construction, materials for paper mills and compost.
Italy is at the forefront of recycling and reuse
An efficient and solid system. An excellent all-Italian example of circular economy. In environmental and employment terms: last year's research conducted by the Politecnico di Milano estimated that this system generates an economic impact of about 1,4 billion euros (if we also consider reuse, it exceeds 2 billion). 6 thousand jobs and above all a "saving" in CO2 consumption equal to almost one million tons. In this sector, gentlemen, Italy is at the forefront. Against a target that the EU has set by 2030 of 30% recycling and reuse, in the boot we already recycle 63% of wooden packaging.
The post Covid challenge
“The current year presents unknowns. They are due to the health and economic crisis we are going through, ”he says Nicola Semeraro, President of the Rilegno Consortium.“This worldwide paralysis due to Covid-19 forces us to review our lifestyles and choices at all levels. Government, business and even individual choices must be oriented towards the values and principles of sustainability, protection of the environment and ecosystem in which we live. Already Henry David Thoreau 150 years ago wrote that 'the survival of the world depends on wild nature '. A great classic. Walden, Life in the woods, is considered the progenitor of the culture of ecology, of sustainability and of the return to nature, and we at Rilegno transmit its values ".