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Paris rolls out separate food waste collection

The city of Paris has launched the first phase of a new separate food waste collection service that the city’s mayor says offers ‘huge benefits’ to the French capital.

Paris rolls out separate food waste collection
The service, delivered in partnership with Italian bioplastics company Novamont, will see council workers delivering aerated food waste caddies that can be stowed away beneath the kitchen sink to 74,161 households in Paris, along with biodegradable and compostable bags made from Novamont’s MATER-BI bioplastic in which to collect food waste.

Last week, the teams of workers were joined by Paris Deputy Mayor Mao Peninou, along with the Mayors of the 2nd and 12tharrondissements (equivalent to borough councils), Chatherine Barrati-Elbazet and Jacques Boutault, representatives from urban waste management companies ADEME and SYCTOM, and representatives from Novamont France to explain the benefits of collecting food waste separately.

The collected food waste will be diverted from landfill and incineration and instead will be used to produce green biogas for energy and compost for soil fertilisers – a move which is in line with the sustainability commitments made at the COP21 held in Paris 18 months ago and the logic of the circular economy.

The council says the compostable bags will make the separation and processing of food waste far simpler as they are suitable for processing in anaerobic digestion and composting and comply with then-Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Ségolène Royal’s energy transition law. Alternatively, the bags can be reused by households after being used to collect wet waste.

Circular economy promises “huge benefits”

Commenting on the launch, Deputy Mayor Peninou said: "We invite the people of Paris to get fully behind this environmental and social innovation that will make them the leading stakeholders in the production of biogas and compost."

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo added: "The circular economy shows us every day that changing attitudes and approaches to the issue of waste promises huge benefits for our country."

Meanwhile, Christophe de Doukhi Boissoudy, CEO of Novamont France, commented: "In the circular economy, the recovery of resources takes place first and foremost by recycling the waste and reinserting it into the production cycle. The circular system par excellence, as evidenced by several use cases across Europe, is the one based on separate collection of the organic fraction – which in Paris accounts for about 25 per cent of the total waste produced by every citizen. Its success depends on the use of biodegradable bags and carrier bags certified in accordance with the most important standards."

Widening the network

Paris is not the first city to employ such a scheme, nor the first to partner with Novamont in the delivery of said scheme. Following the Italian government’s ban on single-use plastic carrier bags in 2011, Milan rolled out a similar scheme with Novamont from November 2012, providing buildings and residences with food waste containers and MATER-BI bag starter packs of 30, while introducing fines for buildings that were not separating food waste properly.

Over 90 kilograms of organic waste per resident is collected every year, with Milan now achieving over 50 per cent separate waste collection. Meanwhile, over 95 per cent of high quality organic waste produced in Milan is collected.

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