Italian bioplastics firm, Novamont, is to provide materials and technical support to increase the environmental sustainability of this year’s Giro d’Italia cycling race, reducing waste sent to landfill
Novamont explained that its involvement in the “RIDE GREEN” project will lead to a significant reduction of unsorted waste and mitigate disposal in landfill, soil and air pollution as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
RIDE GREEN is a 5 year programme which was created to reduce the event's environmental impact and to protect the natural beauty that the Italian Grand Tour has always celebrated.
Each stage of the Giro, now in its hundredth edition, 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.
According to Novamont this 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, as part of the circular economy.
During the various stages, from the 5th of May for three weeks, 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,” explained Andrea Di Stefano, director of special projects and business communications for Novamont.
“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," he added.
Biodegradable and Compostable
Novamont explained that 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 are said to 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.
The company added that its sites have been redeveloped as innovative industrial facilities, in line with its bioeconomy model of regional regeneration.
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