In order to implement the European Directive 94/62/EC, in 1997 Italy has adopted the so-called Ronchi Decree that establishes several rules for the recycling and recovering of waste packaging. The main feature of the Italian system is that it provides for the creation of packaging producer's associations, which are committed to accomplish
the targets set forth by the Directive. The paper aims to assess the proportionality between the contribution of COMIECO the cellulosic packaging producer's association to environmental protection, and the distorsion and restriction of competition in the waste paper market caused by its activities. The main finding is that not all the restrictions to competition are necessary to accomplish its special mission. In order to
contribute to the development of a better set of rules, a qualification of the COMIECO as a buyer of last resort is proposed.