11 March 2019


Pietro Stroppa
On February 26th 2019 the Convention organized by Rilegno-Fla took place at Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan/Italy on the theme "Wood recycling creates value for the wood-furniture industry".

The Consortium Rilegno, is a system based on 400 private collection platforms, widespread throughout the territory, 14 recycling plants, 4,400 partner municipalities; that every year recovers and starts the recycling of wood deriving from packaging (pallets, crates for fruit and vegetables, crates, cages, cable reels) and from urban waste collection. I lived in the sector since 1965 and before founding my Datalignum publishing house in March 1982, I was a manager in Formica and Masonite (from January 1970 to July 1981).With my Datalignum magazine and my portal
I live the market and I am familiar with the problems of the sector, including international ones. In 54 years of activity I have attended thousands Conferences (also abroad), but it had never happened to me, as on the 26th of February last years to come out disappointed by the Conference in question. The reason for this disappointment is that he spent three hours listening to a lot of talk about people who did not say anything important and did not go into the subject, since the Organizers did not invite to speak the protagonists of the market, or the industrialists of the panels, some of which were present in the hall. The organizers were concerned only with gratifying politicians and professors. Mr. Enrico Letta, the politician who had confirmed his presence, did not show up but gave a cable television interview. Good thing, because he did not say anything interesting. This behavior is in line with the virtual experience of politicians and professors, who are not reliable, they are out of the reality of citizens and of productive and commercial activities. 
The moderator of the conference was Oscar Giannino that I think was not suitable for this role, because he suffers from protagonism and should have been the speaker, because he always spoke: he asked the questions to the speakers and he gave the answers. I remind readers that the first in Italy and among the first in Europe to recover wood in various factories of furniture and wood processing, was Mauro Saviola (deceased in 2009) founder with his brother Angelo della Sadepan in 1963, which more than 20 years ago, it established special centers called Ecolegno. In his speech the prof. Giovanni Azzone, of which I fully report a part of the official press release that the Organization has sent to me later, said: "By presenting the results of the research, the report has punctually analyzed the different economic actors" coordinated "by Rilegno. The process that made it possible to collect over 2.5 million tons of wood in 2017. Unlike what happens in other countries, where post-consumption wood is mainly burned to produce energy, the Rilegno system has allowed to regenerate and then reuse almost 30% of the recovered packaging and to recycle the remaining part, allowing to produce panels for the furniture without the need to consume virgin wood. In environmental terms, this has allowed a saving in the consumption of CO2 equal to almost one million tons, about 2% of the total CO2 produced in Italy. " It would be interesting to know from prof. Azzone: What procedure did you follow to carry out the research you mentioned? How did the final figure of 2.5 million tons of wood arrive? In the Rilegno home-page of the web today 11th March 2019 at 9:00 a.m. the amount of wood recycled each year is 1,793,748 tons in contradiction with the report presented by prof. Azzone.
Moreover, in the Convention the market dynamics that have seen, in recent years, have decreased the use of panels in fruit packaging, which summarize in the following three main reasons. The reasons have been a big damage for the Italian wood-based panels industry:
- The wood fiber panel for fruit packaging has been replaced - in some applications - by cardboard and plastic packaging.
- The recovered wood also comes to Italy diverted to biomass energy plants.
- The irreversible change in distribution methods, particularly by large retailers.
The President of Rilegno, Nicola Semeraro commented: "As demonstrated by the study carried out by the Milan Polytechnic University, in little more than 20 years the wood recovery and recycling system has created a" new "economy that has produced important results both in environmental terms, both for the ability to create development and employment. It should be emphasized that this system has created value for the entire wood-furniture supply chain, guaranteeing to the furniture industry, through the supply of the particle board, an important amount of material that has allowed us not to "consume" and import virgin wood.” At the beginning - added Semeraro “We did not even know what the circular economy was and today we have turned a problem into a resource: in Italy we recover more than 60% of wood packaging, when Europe "satisfies" the 30 %. We have given the concept of circular economy an effective concrete application with less invasive solutions to the environment and also economically sustainable. Overall, the economic impact on the national production of the activities of the post-consumption wood recovery chain is estimated at around € 1.4 billion, with almost 6,000 jobs overall incurred in Italy.”
For the record, the other speakers were:, the physicist Valerio Rossi Albertini, the architect Mario Cucinella, the prof. Davide Chiaroni, Francesco Pugliese / managing director of Conad, and the deputy minister for economic development Dario Galli.
Conclusion: It was a nice show for the scenography but poor of contents and many of which are not truthful and not in conformity with reality!

The proceedings of the conference and for more information, contact Mrs. Elena Lippi:
Via Luigi Negrelli 24-A
I-47042 CESENATICO, Forlì-Cesena, Italy / Tel. +39 0547 672946 / Fax +39 0547 675244 / E-mail: