CONAI together with Milan Expo 2015 to promote the culture of recycling and the circular economy

18 November 2016

Among the initiatives planned is the installation of a environmental meter that will measure the environmental, economic and social benefits deriving from the time recycling of the waste produced starts at Milan Expo 2015, and the broadcast of video bites about the system of separate waste collection on the site of the Universal Exhibition, and the use of recycled waste. The production of urban and assimilated waste on the site of the Universal Exhibition is estimated to be 17,000 tonnes, averaging 70-80 tonnes daily, with130 tonnes produced at weekends. It is for this reason that CONAI, together with Milan Expo 2015, will act as on-site spokesperson aboutthe importance of waste recycling through the collection of separate waste, to inform and organise both visitors and workers. At least 40% of the waste will be produced by visitors, while 60% will be created by the exhibitions, food services and catering. CONAI, for the purpose of providing information and guidanceto staff and encourage tourists to follow good practice, will create informational panels and materials so that all waste, not just packaging, will be separated properly so that it can be re-used through recycling. The goal is for the collection of separate waste to achieve a minimum level of 70% of the total waste, to be sent for recycling through consortium in the sector and to composting, while the separate waste collection system planned for 2015 Milan Expo will be the same as that currently in place in the city. Paper and cardboard, glass, plastic packaging and metals, organic fraction (containing food scraps and disposable products such as glasses, plates and cutlery made from compostable material) are the 5 waste categories to be collected separately and returned to the production chian, thereby reducing the need for new resources. The agreement between CONAI and Expo 2015 S.p.A. foresees the implementation of an environmental meter, which will measure the environmental, economic and social benefits generated by correct waste management – separate waste collection on the site and the start of recycling – through a series of indicators, including the CO2 emissions avoided, the quantity of waste removed from landfill and sent for recycling by merchandise category, the secondary raw materials generated and the water and energy saved. The environmental meter, realised in partnership with AMSA-Group A2A, will be updated periodically in order to monitor the progress of the separate waste collection and recycling activities. CONAI will create a series of video bites, in Italian and English, with information on the correct procedure to follow in separating waste for collection within the Expo, so as to ensure an accurate separation of waste for collection, the minimisation of foreign elements and the recovery of a greater amount of waste. To inform and educate a younger audience, CONAI will also create a game comprised of 18 interactive e-walls and educational materials for the Children Park. The different zones of the Universal Exhibition will also include 30 benches constructed from recycled packaging materials providing a concrete example of the circular economy, a functioning model which is sustainable from both an environmental and economic point of view. During the press conference held in March, the Memorandum of Understanding between Expo 2015 S.p.A. and the National Packaging Consortium (CONAI) for a programme to promote the Circular Economy was presented. To illustrate the importance of the Milan Expo 2015 Circular Economy Programme, of which CONAI is an Official Supporter, in attendance were the General Manager, Sales & Entertainment for Expo 2015 S.p.A. Piero Galli, and the Director General of the National Packaging Consortium Walter Facciotto. “Milan Expo 2015,” said Piero Galli, Managing Director Sales & Entertainment for Expo 2015 S.p.A., “wants to leave a positive mark: on the one hand promoting sensitivity to the principles of sustainability in the organisation of the event, itself, in keeping with the theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’; on the other, promoting and sharing good practice among all the visitors and Participants. In concrete terms, this means achieving high levels of efficiency in the separation of waste, for example, and its subsequent recovery through recycling and composting. Also in the field of waste management, we want to provide a good example and the benchmark for future Exhibitions and for future major events. And to do this, we ask for the contribution and collaboration of everyone, from Professionals in the sector to the Participants and their staff, from our Partners to our Visitors “. “Sustainability is one of the central elements of Expo 2015, and CONAI is pleased to make available its expertise in the sectors of packaging recycling and recovery,” commented Walter Facciotto, General Manager of CONAI – “Sustainability for CONAI means not only the protection and stewardship of the environment, but also the prospects for economic growth and new business opportunities. Suffice it to say, that in its15 years of existence, the Consortium has generated 15.2 billion Euros in overall benefit for the national economic system and today, 37,000 workers are employed in the sector of waste treatment of packaging and the recycling industry” Thanks to the work of CONAI and Consortiums in the sector who have supported and given impetus to the development of packaging materials produced from urban waste over the past 15 years, the waste recovery landscape has changed completely: 33.2% of the packaging consumed in 1998 was recovered, while today the percentage is 77.5%, equal to more than 3 in every 4. This achievement has resulted in at least 100 landfills not being constructed, avoided the emission of 125 million tonnes of CO2 and saved 350 billion KwH of energy, a greater value than the overall total annual demand of Italy.