Novamont helping Italian Embassy reduce waste

The Italian Embassy in London officially launched a drive to drastically reduce its waste generation last week (12 June), building on the significant improvements it has already made.

The new ’Zero-Waste Embassy’ initiative, which has been launched in partnership with Italian bioplastics company Novamont and is the first of its kind among embassies based in the UK, will see the Italian Embassy seek to return all waste produced into productive circulation through recycling or composting.

The Embassy has already made sizeable reductions in its waste output, achieving a 20 per cent fall in the past six months. Unsorted residual waste now accounts for as little as 20 per cent of the total waste generated by the Embassy, while 50 per cent is now recycled and 30 per cent is composted.

Italian Embassy employees celebrate new waste reduction initiative.
Italian Embassy employees celebrate new waste reduction initiative.

The collaboration with Novamont, which produces bioplastic alternatives such as its MATER-BI range of compostable bioplastics, has allowed enthusiastic Embassy staff to drastically reduce their use of disposable plastic products at work.

The Italian Embassy has also switched to the energy supplier Green Network, which supplies gas and electricity purely from renewable sources and will top up the energy provided by the solar panels installed on the roof of the Embassy building.

Commenting on the initiative, Catia Bastioli, Novamont CEO, said: “The current environmental and social challenges can no longer be ignored, and we need a long-term strategy, while also achieving as much as we can in the short and medium term. The Embassy’s laudable decision to minimise the use of disposable products, to use compostable products where necessary, and to ensure that organic waste is collected and transformed into high-quality compost, is a concrete step towards more careful approach to resources. If this approach is scaled up, it has the potential to prompt exponential growth of aspirations and opportunities.”

The initiative with the Italian Embassy is one of a number of projects for Novamont in recent times as it continues to expand its offering of bioplastic alternatives. Last October, the company opened a new bioplastics plant south of Rome to increase its production capacity to 150,000 tonnes per year, as well as launching a new range of biodegradable materials to replace microplastics in cosmetics under the brand name CELUS-BI.

Already used widely in Italy, the company’s MATER-BI compostable bioplastics are seeing an increasing uptake in the UK and Ireland, with MATER-BI compostable food waste liners being employed as part of a consumer awareness programme in the Irish town of Sligo, while national retailer the Co-op’s plastic carrier bags are made from the compostable material.

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