18 March 2019

World Recycling Day

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Lucart shows that choosing recycled toilet paper saves 80% of renewable resources and 38% of water resources.

According to estimates of Lucart, following an EPD analysis, doubling the annual national consumption of recycled toilet paper could lead to annual savings of over 5 million m3 of water and 400 thousand tonnes of wood.

The World Recycling Day was celebrated on Monday, March 18th, for the second year running. The event aims to raise awareness of the key role that recycling plays in preserving the resources of our planet. This year's theme was "recycling into the future". Today, humankind is using the Earth's natural resources faster than they can to reconstitute themselves, consuming an amount equal to 1.7 times the regeneration capacity of the planet.

One of the most used materials is wood, which is used, among other things, to produce the paper we use every day, including paper for toilet and sanitary use. Suffice it to say about 1.5 million tons of tissue paper for sanitary use are made a year in Italy alone and of these only 7% are made with recycled materials. This shows that, although ours is one of the most virtuous countries in Europe for the paper and cardboard recycling, there is still much to be done to reduce the ecological footprint that man has on the Planet.

During the EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) certification process on two toilet paper brands made by the same Italian multinational company, Lucart ascertained the environmental advantages of toilet paper made using recycled materials compared to that produced from virgin materials.

For each tonne of recycled toilet paper produced, Lucart measured various environmental advantages compared to the “virgin” cellulose paper, namely:

  • reduction by 80% of the consumption of renewable resources, with savings of 4,060.9 kg of wood;

  • reduction by 38% of the consumption of water resources, i.e. 50.63 m3 of water;

  • a saving of 404.50 kg of fossil CO2, one of the gases that are most to blame for climate change.

"We have always maintained that since they cannot be further recycled, it is important for products such as toilet paper to be made using recycled materials", said Massimo Pasquini, CEO of Lucart. "We were surprised to read the results of environmental savings of recycled paper determined by the EPD analysis that we have done on some of our products too. Saving more than 50m3 of water per tonne of paper produced means that if recycled products had more space in shopping trolleys of Italian consumers, perhaps doubling the amount of recycled toilet paper purchased nationally (for the same total consumption), we could save an amount of water that could fill 2000 Olympic swimming pools. That's simply incredible!"

The result is ambitious but absolutely achievable. For it to happen, however, it is necessary to implement a regulatory framework, harmonised at European level, that favours the production and sale of recycled products, for example with the approval of decrees such as the End of Waste and with the adoption of incentive measures, such as VAT facilitations for recycled products.

"In this way, virtuous products would also have more space on the shelves of the retailers. Finally, purchases of sanitary products by public authorities with minimum environmental criteria should include a significant percentage of recycled paper. "If waste sorting is not followed by the production and purchasing of recycled products, it becomes an activity without any added value", concluded Massimo Pasquini.

 During the process to obtain the EPD declaration and the LCA study that represents its scientific basis, Lucart S.p.A. sought the technical and methodological support of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa and Ergo s.r.l., a spin-off company of the Scuola Superiore.
Corporate, Environment