On 3 July, the European Directive “SUP” (Single Use Plastic), already approved in 2019, establishes a ban on marketing certain particular products which entered into force in all member states, including Italy. A directive that does not in any way concern furniture products – a sector in which Catas, the most important European laboratory in the sector, has been involved for over fifty years – but which leads to careful reflection on the issue of plastics.
The Ban and restrictions on products responsible for a large part of the pollution of our planet – including plates, cutlery, straws, etc. – is undoubtedly a strong signal of the explicit desire to tackle the issue of “materials considered unsustainable.” Therefore the EU directive can be interpreted as a first signal towards the limitation of the production and use of plastics in more general terms, considering the continuous and growing global alarms. In a business-as-usual scenario, one of the most dramatic concerns is the accumulation of plastics and microplastics in the oceans, with a side-effect of more plastic than fish (by weight) already by 2050. The final goal could therefore prove to be even more drastic of the appeal signed by 14 scientists from various countries for an international agreement that even bans the production of virgin plastic starting from 2040, allowing the use of only “recycled plastic”, as a recent article suggests of the prestigious “Science” magazine.
The assuming the scenario and its expectations require a reflection on the future, with the certainty that we must go beyond ethical and environmental sustainability: the marketing strategies of the furniture sector and of the individual companies must take the necessary attention of a general framework that advises early thinking about possible alternatives, bioplastics and their compostability rather than returning – where possible – to wood. CATAS is particularly active on environmental issues and, precisely to meet the changing needs of an increasingly “green” market, it has recently activated a service for the study of the life cycle (LCA) of any raw material or finished product in the wood furniture industry. We remind you that the Life Cycle Assessment provides a sort of environmental “identity card”, recognized internationally as it is based on shared and unified principles, an objective basis on which to then work towards improvements, awards and certifications.
For more information: Catas
Do not miss the next webinar on “Life Cycle Assessment – LCA: new opportunities for the furniture sector” by CATAS Academy