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Concerns over CAM in Italy

April 5, 2019

ARTI-Italia has sent a letter to the Italian Ministries of Economy and Finance, and Infrastructure and Transport, discussing its desired changes to CAM (Minimum Environmental Criteria) in the face of the threat from clone products.

The letter, viewed by The Recycler, states, “With regard to the discussion relating to the “Sblocca Cantieri” decree and to the bill delegating the revision of the Procurement Code that we want to modify in the sense of streamlining the obligations, we express our concern as it seems to us that the direction taken is opposite to the line environmental protection and sustainability in a circular economy that everyone proposes as an objective to achieve.”

The letter continues, “In particular in our sector, that of consumables for printing, we are witnessing an alarming spread of so-called “compatible” products, which use new plastics, often polluted and harmful and in most cases of Asian origin. In this regard, we recall the press release https://www.arti-italia.com/2018/12/28/comunicato-stampa/ where you can find the reasons for the worrying situation we are witnessing and which finds its impact above all in the PA, the central purchasing bodies are large consumers of print cartridges.

“We have worked together with the Ministry of the Environment for the drafting of CAM Cartridge Regenerated https://www.minambiente.it/sites/default/files/archivio/allegati/GPP/GPP_CAM_Toner.pdf  which finally and recently are applied in the tenders; after laborious implementation and knowledge by public bodies and taken as an example in the world https://www.arti-italia.com/2019/02/18/green-economy-i-cam-strumento-di-competitivita/

The letter concludes, “We hope that there is a rethinking of the changes under discussion in the direction of protection, not so much in a sector that can give great prospects for employment development, but rather in a good practice: that of re-use, which reduces waste and pollution thanks to reuse of exhausted cartridges that on the contrary – in the event of failure to comply with the standards and certifications as clones / compatible – turn out to be very harmful to human health.
Certain of your taking into consideration our request, we hope that it will return to the initial direction of the CAM application, for a better use of resources. We do not share the positions of economic operators who do not pursue the same objectives, preferring to market products at low prices, but containing dangerous chemical substances, as well as illegal when they are detrimental to the OEM patents of the manufacturers that hold them.”

Giovanni Ravelli, Key Accounts Manager at Turbon Products GmbH but also ARTI-Italia President, explained things further in an email to The Recycler.

Giovanni Ravelli, Sales Manager, Emstar and President of ARTI-Italia

He wrote, “For over a year now, we have been revising the CAM together with the Ministry of the Environment in Rome, taking away the possibility of buying clones from public administrations and having ecolabel product certifications imposed, but unfortunately the Minister does not sign the new decree law.  There are strong pressures from the lobbies of economic operators who consider the application of CAMs a restriction on trade in new clones and so-called compatible products.

Last month I attended a conference where there was strong criticism of the minimum environmental criteria (CAM) in all sectors”.

He went on, “The representative of the Ministry of the Environment, Dr Riccardo Rifici, expressed himself clearly for the application of CAMs on printing consumables, citing our specific experience and the fact that in Italy, unfortunately, many Chinese or Far Eastern products are already being sold, often manufactured with polluted plastics and harmful to patents.”

Ravelli continued, “The Italian government wants to make it easier for public administrations to purchase goods and services and believes that CAM are not part of our economic system, mistakenly thinking that industries cannot have the required certifications.

In this way, more and more NBC clones and other products will be imported, in spite of the GPP that the European Community has adopted and of which Italy has been a pioneer in particular.”

Ravelli concluded, “Yes, we are now beginning to see the first signs of application by public administrations.   If the road taken is not changed, we will have nullified the work of 4 years carried out with great professionalism by the technicians and officials of the Ministry of the Environment, to whom we would like to thank in any case.”

David Connett, President of ETIRA, has also weighed in on the matter, saying in a statement, “It seems that the Italian Minister’s decision is at variance with all that the EU is trying to do in terms or encouraging green procurement and reducing the use of single use plastics in favour of reuse.  ARTI-Italia has worked collaboratively with the Italian ministry to bring about positive reuse strategies in the Italian market that would have put Italy at the forefront of these issues. Instead this decision puts Italy at the back door encouraging the import of single use products in favour of supporting their local reuse enterprises.  Hopefully ongoing lobbying can encourage the minister to reconsider this terrible decision.”

 

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