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Environmental Accounting for the Circularization of the Packaged Water Sector in Italy

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Innovation, Quality and Sustainability for a Resilient Circular Economy (AISME 2022)

Part of the book series: Circular Economy and Sustainability ((CES))

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Abstract

Packaged water is one of the fastest growing commodities on a global scale, with significant repercussions from environmental, economic, and social perspectives. Worldwide, the total annual consumption of water is estimated at approximately 390 billion litres, corresponding to over 155 billion euros. In this context, Italy plays an important role, being the eighth country for total consumption, estimated in 2020 at over 14 billion litres, and second for per capita consumption, equal to 222 L. Under the economic perspective, its value equals approximately 2800 million euros. In Italy, over 82% of the water is packaged in plastic bottles, while 16% is packaged in glass bottles and only 2% is packaged in plastic jugs, cardboard bricks, or aluminium cans. This research applies material flow analysis to the national packaged water sector to measure the material flows associated with the entire packaged water sector in Italy. Although cardboard bricks and aluminium cans could represent a more sustainable solution from an environmental point of view in the long term, plastic packaging guarantees numerous socioeconomic advantages, namely, economic convenience, easy portability, and widespread distribution of the product. The research discusses possible circularization strategies in the packaged water sector, providing useful research directions for practitioners and academics.

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Correspondence to Christian Bux .

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Amicarelli, V., Bux, C., Lagioia, G. (2024). Environmental Accounting for the Circularization of the Packaged Water Sector in Italy. In: Lagioia, G., Paiano, A., Amicarelli, V., Gallucci, T., Ingrao, C. (eds) Innovation, Quality and Sustainability for a Resilient Circular Economy. AISME 2022. Circular Economy and Sustainability. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-28292-8_22

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