SIRCLES in Italy implemented a green label to award restaurants, hotels and cafes committed to biowaste management
The improvement of the state of biowaste collection in the territory of Valle d’Itria in the south of Italy is the main goal of the SIRCLES pilot and the awareness raising to domestic and non-domestic users has been the main activity developed by Consorzio Italiano Compostatori (CIC), Italian partner of SIRCLES, together with the local collaborator and the 7 in-job trainees.
The objective of the GREEN LABEL CAMPAIGN is to raise awareness in the Ho.Re.Ca sector (hotels-restaurants, cafes) on the proper biowaste management.The campaign was a requirement of the SIRCLES project, in which each partner had to develop activities in this regard, and which has been adapted to the Italian conditions. In Italy, the campaign rewards those structures that follow adequate practices in the management of organic waste by publicizing their commitment to the environment in the area. In particular, those who:
- Carry out source separate collection of kitchen waste in the special container, avoiding the insertion of other non-compliant type of waste.
- Use bags, for the collection of organic waste, exclusively certified biodegradable and compostable according to UNI EN 13432 (paper/bioplastic that has the biodegradability and compostable label from a recognise certification entity).
- Use packaging for takeaway delivery made in materials whose residues are managed by well-developed value chains in Italy.
- Use compost, the natural fertilizer final product of the waste recycling process organic, in the green spaces of their premises.
The strategy developed by CIC to approach the Ho.Re.Ca structures was gradual. As a first step, the structures were invited to take part in a study, by filling in a survey, to evaluate the habits of the Ho.Re.Ca sector regarding the management of the biowaste produced in their kitchens and the packaging used within their activity. A total of 140 structures from the territory took part in the survey.
At the end of the survey, the interviewers (the 7 in-job trainees) explained the main features of the GREEN LABEL CAMPAIGN, as an initiative that could provide them with visibility in the social media whenever they satisfy the requirements set. The ones interested to join signed an agreement with CIC to take part in the initiative, being part of visual controls every month for 3 months and participating in raising awareness activities with the following main topics: (1) Information on the "steps" of the organic waste supply chain: from separate collection (because it is important to do it in the right way), to the composting plant (where waste must be recycled) to the transformation into compost, as a final quality product used in agriculture (with the support of the design on the supply chain cycle). (2) Obligation to use bags made of biodegradable and compostable material for the collection of biowaste (with the support of the flyer for non-domestic users designed for this purpose). (3) The importance of verifying the biodegradable and compostable label in the products used for takeaway or consumption inside the structure (with the support of the flyer for non-domestic users designed for this purpose and a biodegradable and compostable bag to show one of the logos). (4) The importance of organic matter for soil and green spaces.
The campaign started to operate in the territory in December 2022. From a total of 35 structures joining the campaign, 26 were awarded with the Bio-waste Recycler Label. A sticker containing the label together with a QR code that directs to the CIC website (https://www.compost.it/bio-waste-recycler/ ) where the list of the structures that have obtained it appears. The awarded structures were also provided with compost from biowaste to be used in their green spaces.
The support from the municipalities and the region of Puglia to publicize the Green Label Campaign was key for the success of the initiative.
Testimonial from a participating restaurant
“We felt extremely encouraged to comply with the criterion within the Campaign and impatient to obtain the Green Label. For us it was a sign of belonging to the entire chain of entities and persons contributing to the improvement of the environment.
It gave us a pleasant feeling of recognition for our efforts in the commitment to the territory. We are also highly convinced that the possession of the label has its positive marketing impact on creating customers´ loyalty to those who are already aware about the importance ofbiowaste collection as well as raising the awareness of consumers for whom this topic is still new”.