Mater-Bi, the family of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics developed by Italian bioplastics pioneer Novamont, has been adopted by Milano Ristorazione, the Municipality of Milan company that manages the catering service of Milan schools, as the material of choice for the tableware used to provide meals to students throughout the city.
Starting this year in September, the caterer now makes exclusive use of compostable serviceware made from Novamont’s Mater-Bi bioplastics. This decision means that the plates on which the meals are served can be collected together with food waste and sent for composting – no sorting required – thus significantly reducing the environmental impact of the catering service.
According to Novamont, replacing traditional plastic by Mater-Bi in the catering and hospitality sector can greatly simplify waste management processes, yielding both sustainability and cost benefits.
As the company points out, once used, the serviceware is collected together with the wet waste, “thus avoiding disposal in landfills and contributing to the creation of quality compost, a natural fertiliser for the soil.”
According the UK’s Waste and Resources Action Programme, or WRAP, over 3 million tonnes of waste (1.3MT of packaging, 0.92 MT of food waste and 0.66MT of non-food waste such as napkins) are produced by the Hospitality and Food Service Sector each year. A further 130,000 tonnes of food waste are generated at off-site preparation centres.
A peer-reviewed and published LCA (Life Cycle Assessment and Evaluation of Life Cycle) study conducted by Novamont’s laboratories revealed that using compostable tableware for a sample of 1000 meals served in a school canteen could save 90 kg of CO2 and 555 kWh of renewable energy, compared to the same sample served with traditional disposable plastic tableware (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X0800295X).
EN13432 certified MATER-BI and food contact approved products include knives, forks, spoons, straws, hot and cold cups, plates and even reusable dishes.