They made history in Italy with memorable feats of heroism, driven by the love for their country and by values that make theirs a unique outfit: this is the Alpine Corps, also known as the Black Feathers, which is holding its 87th muster from the 9th to the 11th of May 2014 in Pordenone. With 450,000 participants expected, producing around 350,000 kg of waste, the event has the potential to create a significant environmental impact. In order to alleviate the effect on the Pordenone ecosystem, the ANA (National Alpine Corps Association), the COA (Muster Organising Committee) and GEA, the Pordenone environmental services company, in collaboration with Novamont, global leader in the bioplastics field, have introduced different ecosustainable initiatives.
First of all, new eco-stations will be positioned at campsites and accommodation blocks which will include bins for collecting organic waste, glass, so-called mixed materials (paper and cardboard, plastic and wooden packaging), and lastly residual dry waste.
Two easily recognisable and practical types of containers will be placed around the city, one for collecting mixed recyclable waste and the other for biodegradable waste, lined with bags made from Mater-Bi®, Novamont’s completely biodegradable and compostable bioplastic. Non-recyclable waste must be placed in steel sack holders, containing black plastic sacks, which are deliberately nondescript to emphasise the difference in importance between recyclable materials and those sent to landfill.
Frying oils and wine corks will be collected from bars and restaurants.
Novamont will support the event by providing biodegradable cutlery and compostable sacks for organic waste collection. In addition, thanks to an agreement signed with the ANA, the Association’s official food outlets will only use biodegradable and compostable tableware provided by Foodservice, a bioplastic processing company and Novamont partner.
In compliance with a regulation issued by the municipal authorities, all outlets providing food and drink in disposable containers will be required to use tableware made from compostable materials. Bars and restaurants have made an agreement with distributors of these products, through trade associations, in order to ensure logistic arrangements are in place for the collection and processing of the materials used.
None of this would be possible without the Angeli del Riciclo (Recycling Angels), 100 specially chosen and trained young people who will welcome visitors, provide information on correct methods for disposal and assist GEA operators in emptying containers and helping the general public.
Mater-Bi®, the bioplastic developed by Novamont, which is biodegradable and compostable in compliance with European standards, can guarantee similar performance to traditional plastics but uses renewable resources of agricultural origin. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and cuts consumption of non-renewable energy and resources, completing a virtuous circle: raw materials of agricultural origin are returned to the earth through biodegradation or composting without emitting pollutants.
“There needs to be increased awareness of the problem of the end of life of so many of the products we use every day, and therefore of the production and disposal of waste, especially at public events like the Alpine Corps National Muster. We believe that bioplastics can help in solving certain aspects of this question, since they can be sent for composting together with organic waste,” said Andrea Di Stefano, director of special projects and business communications for Novamont. “The circular economy is not just a project for a different way of managing materials but a series of concrete and widespread practices involving citizens, consumers and companies, making them responsible for the value of small everyday actions such as the correct differentiated collection of waste,” said Di Stefano.
The initiatives put in place for the 87th Alpine Corps National Muster will be part of “Let’s Clean Up Europe Day”, the European campaign against littering launched by the Environmental Commissioner Janez Potocnik, which will take place all over Europe on 10 May 2014.