In 2019, the implementation of TRIS Action Plan in Emilia-Romagna proceeded with the active involvement of the Region and relevant stakeholders.

Action 1 , dedicated to improving market uptake of secondary raw materials and by-products within the plastic sector, became even more strategic after the approval of the SUP Directive and produced new regional policy instruments related to our target policy instrument (Waste Management Plan). RER, ART-ER and IS Lab members participated to the consultations leading to the approval of two important measures by the Emilia-Romagna region, namely, the "Regional strategy for the reduction of the effects of plastic on the environment", #plasticFreER, approved on 11/11/2019; and the agreement, approved on 22/11/2019, with "Coripet" (PET Recycling Consortium) and the associations representing municipal administrations and multiutilities, in order to adopt innovative PET collection systems facilitating PET reuse in the food sector.

The Plastic free strategy aims to convert the production processes towards ecofriendly or reusable plastics, and reduce the production of disposable plastic, while favoring recovery and recycling. The strategy includes 15 lines of action whose implementation will be monitored by a steering committee including the business sector, environmental associations and academia.

Action 2 is related to the implementation of Regional projects on Industrial Symbiosis and Circular Economy financed by ERDF funds. Approved projects were announced on 14/03/2019, started within July 2019 and will last 24 months. The 5 research projects currently implemented are: Biorefining Waste of the Agro Food Chain in Emilia Romagna; Insects for the bioconversion of agro-food by-products into feed and high added value substances; Use of Plastic Recycling Materials for Lightweight Structural Mortars and Concrete, FIRE resistant MATerials & composites; VALUE of reflux water and sludge in view of Circular Economy and Industrial Symbiosis. ART-ER follows project implementation by contacting project coordinators: all projects are ongoing, with slight slow down due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Action 3 aims at raising regional stakeholders awareness on Industrial Symbiosis, by transferring knowledge about existing mechanisms facilitating industrial symbiosis. Four new companies in the ceramic sector joined the regional list of by-products, bringing the total to 15 members. Also, ART-ER, RER, ENEA and the Sustainability Observatory organized a workshop at Research To Business - R2B 2019 fair, presenting TRIS Action Plan progress. In December 2019 two additional by-product chains were approved: "poultry manure" used for the production of fertilizers, and "residues and scraps of plastic materials", the latter is also very relevant for Action 1.

Action 4 is dedicated to Influencing national policies on Industrial Symbiosis. RER participated to the Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ICESP) working group on "End of Waste" collecting data on “End of Waste” authorizations, and lobbying the national legislator for the adoption of specific regulatory actions on the subject. The ICESP initiative on the agrifood sector, contributing to a position paper which aims to analyze the turning points for a transition to a circular economy of the sector, and identify priorities for a national and regional EC agrifood strategy. Additionally, ART-ER coordinated the “Policies” Working Group within SUN (Symbiosis Users Network), working on the mapping of Industrial Symbiosis actions within Italian regional policies, with a focus on S3, and presented the results of this activity at 2019 Ecomondo fair.

The complete monitoring report, in Italian, is available here

You can also watch the video here