Italy to harness tax system to boost recycling

Forthcoming proposal will include incentives for waste collection, recycling, says Bordon

The Italian government's forthcoming economic and financial planning document (DPEF) will contain ecological tax incentives for waste collection and recycling, environment minister Willer Bordon announced last week. The news produced mixed, but generally positive, reactions from politicians and sector operators.

"I am planning to include a number of ecological tax incentives in the DPEF, and these will include waste collection and especially waste recycling incentives," Mr Bordon told journalists. The document will set government priorities for the period 2001-2005 and is due for release by the end of June.

Mr Bordon's announcement produced enthusiastic reactions from left-of-centre politicians. "Fiscal instruments are essential to the full success of differentiated refuse collection and recycling. Including tax breaks in the DPEF will create a market for recycled materials," said Left Democrats parliamentarian Franco Gerardini.

Italian packaging consortium Conai and the federation of Italian public waste operators Federambiente were more sceptical. For Conai president Pietro Capodieci, the priority was to simplify existing legislation. Tax incentives should be targeted at technological innovation, he stressed. Federambiente president Guido Berro said tax incentives for recycling were necessary. "But it remains to be seen what use is made of them," Mr Berro added.

Follow Up:
Italian environment ministry, tel: +39 06 57 22 55 80; Conai, tel: +39 02 760 541; Federambiente, tel: +39 06 47 86 53 30.

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