New “plastic free” campaign in Milan / Call to action for businesses and consumers
Through its new initiative "Milano Plastic Free", the northern Italian city wants to get rid of polluting plastics and increase citizens’ awareness of the environment and sustainable lifestyles. The campaign – a collaboration with Italian environmental group Legambiente (Rome; and Confcommercio Milano (Milan;, an association representing regional companies engaged in commerce and tourism – is aimed at shops, bars, restaurants and their customers. The purpose is to replace single-use plastic products such as beverage containers, cutlery, plates, bags and other containers with alternative, recyclable and easily reusable items.

Milano Plastic Free kicked off in January 2019 and involves around 200 commercial businesses, 54 of which are restaurants, bars and the city’s administrative offices, with 147 being neighbourhood stores. Participating establishments receive a window sticker and analyse the type and consumption of plastics in order to propose alternative, environmentally sustainable products. Events aimed at consumers are also planned with information that allows customers to learn more about sustainable consumption and the disposal of biodegradable plastics.

An invitation to join the Milano Plastic Free network was given to all businesses in the city, which are encouraged to contact the authorities for information on the actions to be taken, as well as to get ahead of possible European legislation.

Italy is the second largest producer of plastics waste in Europe – every year, around 6m t of plastic items are produced, of which 49% are used for packaging. In 2017, only 43.5% of those were recycled, 40% incinerated and the remaining landfilled or littered in the environment. The country is attempting to drastically reduce the use of plastics by redesigning packaging and disposable items with the goal of improving durability, reusability as well as recyclability.

In spring 2018, Italy's plastics processing industry launched the "Tavolo Permanente Riciclo di Qualità" forum for recycling – see of 27.04.2018. The purpose of the forum is to meet the EU's circular economy strategies by improving the quality of recycling.
05.03.2019 [241813-0]
Published on 05.03.2019

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