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The legislation relating to the management of Packaging Waste in Italy originated in 1997 with the enactment of Legislative Decree 22/97, so-called “Ronchi Decree,” which transposed Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and Packaging Waste, and introduced waste prevention as a prerequisite and disposal as a residual option. The regulation also “universalizes” the obligations for Producers and users of packaging by setting quantitative targets for recovery and recycling of packaging put on the market.

Since 2006, Legislative Decree 22/97 has been repealed and replaced by Legislative Decree 152/2006 (Consolidated Environmental Act) until the introduction of Legislative Decree 116/2020, which transposed the new 2018 EU directives on waste and packaging (Directive (EU) 2018/851 and Directive (EU) 2018/852, respectively), cumulatively referred to as the “circular economy package”.

In parallel, the idea of Extended Producer Responsibility has also shifted from having a relatively simple structure, based on monopolistic systems in constant friction with the market, to a more sophisticated one developed on pluralistic systems capable of guaranteeing environmental benefits and recycling targets.