The Giro, one of three three-week Grand Tours that include the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, goes green. After the success of the first edition in 2016, the Ride Green project will once again accompany this year’s Giro d’Italia, the competition which for 100 years has showcased sporting competitiveness, the passion of the race fans and the beauty of Italy.
Ride Green was created to reduce the event’s environmental impact and to protect the natural beauty that the Giro has always celebrated. Novamont, a world leader in the bioplastics sector, is supporting this five-year programme by providing material and know-how to enable reductions in the production of unsorted waste and mitigate related problems (disposal in landfill, soil and air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions) and to promote production and consumption scenarios in which waste can be used for other processes and valued financially, as part of the circular economy.
Each stage of the Giro, which begins on 5 May in Sardinia and ends in Milan on 28 May, involves tens of thousands of people, including athletes, teams, spectators and workers, and one of the aspects with the greatest environmental impacts is waste generated by meals and the disposable tableware used to consume them, which is normally disposed of with unsorted waste.
The dining areas at the 21 stages of the Giro will therefore have disposable cups, plates, containers and cutlery made from Mater-bi, the biodegradable and compostable bioplastic produced by Novamont which can be disposed of in composting plants together with food waste. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions, cuts consumption of energy and non-renewable resources and completes a virtuous circle: the raw materials of agricultural origin from which Mater-bi is made return to the soil through the processes of biodegradation and composting without releasing pollutants.
During the various stages, the public will be involved in fun informative initiatives aimed at raising awareness about the importance of correct separate waste collection, particularly organic waste.
“We have decided to support the Ride Green Project again this year because a competition as important as the Giro deserves to become a benchmark in terms of environmental sustainability. The Giro unites our country from north to south, east to west, and constitutes a unique celebration of its extraordinary beauty. Holding the competition while respecting natural ecosystems means we can hugely increase its scope and value,” said Andrea Di Stefano, Director of Special Projects and Business Communications for Novamont.
Mater-bi has very similar characteristics and properties to traditional plastics but is also biodegradable and compostable in accordance with European standard UNI EN 13432. These characteristics and the high proportion of renewable raw materials make it possible to optimise the management of organic waste, reduce environmental impact and develop virtuous systems with significant benefits across the entire production-consumption-disposal cycle. The materials which make up Mater-bi, obtained from a number of world-leading technological processes developed by Novamont in the field of starches, cellulose, vegetable oils and related combinations, are produced through an integrated chain at three Italian production sites. These sites have been redeveloped as innovative industrial facilities, in line with the Novamont bioeconomy model of regional regeneration.