With compostable bioplastics and proper organic waste collection, events become virtuous examples of a circular bio-economy
Thanks to its partnership with Slow Food, at Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto 2022 the BIOREPACK consortium will help properly manage the recycling of compostable bioplastic packaging and the kitchen waste fraction with the object of promoting awareness of an internationally unparalleled bio-economy model. Increasing the quantity and quality of OFMSW (Organic Fraction of Municipal Food Waste) is indeed crucial to compost production and the health of farmland. To learn more about the world of recycling bioplastic packaging and the organic fraction, visitors and delegates can visit the Biorepack stand (stand G34
22 September 2022 – This year’s running of an international event is an opportunity to make use of a laboratory to show how bags and tableware made of compostable bioplastic can be used to make a positive contribution to the proper management of organic waste, increasing both its quantity and its correct disposal by visitors. The event in question is Terra Madre - Salone del Gusto 2022, the historic two-yearly show that Slow Food organises in Turin, and which this year is scheduled from today until 26 September. Thanks to the partnership with BIOREPACK, the national consortium for the organic recycling of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging, this was the ideal opportunity to turn the show into a virtuous example of a circular bio-economy, of high educational value.
In Parco Dora, the beating heart of the event, visitors and Terra Madre delegates will find 35 ecological islands, distributed especially in the areas most dedicated to catering (Food Truck, Street Food, Terra Madre Kitchen areas). The islands will be manned by volunteers from Eco dalle Città, which this year has recruited over 270 students from three Turin high schools (Istituto Lagrange, Liceo Cattaneo and Liceo Artistico Cottini) and 12 asylum seekers.
BIOREPACK specialists have been responsible for training demonstrators at each island who will explain to visitors how to collect organic waste and compostable tableware. The use and proper disposal of these products engenders environmental, social and economic benefits.
“One of BIOREPACK's statutory tasks is to explain to the public and authorities how important it is to treat organic waste and compostable bioplastic packaging correctly,” says Marco Versari, President of BIOREPACK. “The kitchen waste fraction accounts for 40% of all waste produced in Italy. Managing it well means that the composting plants operating in our country will be assured of an important raw material for conversion into valuable compost. This is then destined for agricultural land, where it can be used as a natural fertiliser instead of chemicals. In this way we return organic matter to the soil, improve agricultural yields, and build a circular bio-economy system that is good for the country's production fabric. None of this is possible without making the public understand that the possibility of initiating this virtuous circle depends on how they collect their organic waste and what use they make of compostable bags and tableware”.
To understand how important the collection of organic waste is in relation to total waste, these figures can be considered: the 35 ecological islands set up at the Salone del Gusto 2022 will provide 2,200 bioplastic bags, into which compostable waste is to be placed, whereas 'only' 1,600 bags will be provided for undifferentiated waste. Yet more evidence of how much the amount of waste can be reduced through the proper management of OFMSW. The bioplastic bags will then be managed by the Turin-based multi-utility IREN, which will send them to its composting plant in Santhià.
At the end of the event, Slow Food will report on the amount of OFMSW intercepted and the amount of bioplastic packaging contained in it. These figures will then make it possible to calculate the amount of compost that can be made and distributed to farms.
Like plates, glasses and cutlery made of compostable bioplastic, the bags have three advantages. They can be easily delivered to anaerobic digestion and composting plants, where they are then degraded and turned into compost in the same time as the rest of the organic waste, thus increasing the amount of this valuable product. At the same time, they help to reduce the amount of the so-called 'extraneous fraction' consisting of non-compostable materials (mostly conventional plastics, but also glass and aluminium) that 'contaminate' OFMSW and make the production of quality compost more difficult.
While the Salone del Gusto is on, people will be able to find out all about the world of recycling bioplastic packaging and the organic material fraction and have all their questions answered at the BIOREPACK stand (stand G34).
BIOREPACK, the National Consortium for the Organic Recycling of Biodegradable and Compostable Plastic Packaging, is a non-profit consortium under private law, with articles of association approved by a decree from the Ministry for Ecological Transition in agreement with the Ministry for Economic Development, with the aim of ensuring development of the differentiated collection and organic recycling of bioplastics together with the organic fraction of waste (article 182 c of the Consolidated Environment Law - Legislative Decree no. 152/2006). It is made up of more than 200 companies active in the production of raw materials, processing and industrial use of UNI EN 13432-certified compostable bioplastic packaging, as well as its organic recycling.
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