There will be no more plastic plates, cutlery and straws in supermarkets, bars and vending machines from 2021 onwards. The Enel Group, however, has decided to move even faster and today, on World Environment Day, we launch the project “Zero, verso un mondo senza plastica” (Zero, aiming for a plastic-free world) to accelerate the elimination of single-use plastics in the company before 2021.
The project initially involves the company premises in Rome and then, from mid-October, also those in Milan. By December the project will have been rolled out to include a further 12 large Enel sites (Cagliari, Mestre, Catania Palermo, Taranto, Florence, Naples and Bologna) and then then production plants from 2020 before extending its scope even further to involve our chains of suppliers.
A single employee consumes, on average, 4 to 6 kg of plastic per year. From today, in order to put an end to the use of single-use bottles, every staff member will be given a water bottle made of Tritan, a material that is 100% recyclable, resistant and safe: it contains no bisphenols (BPA and BPS), compounds found in common plastic and suspected of having a damaging effect on the human body. Although not included in the European Union directive, Enel has decided to eliminate single-use plastics from bars, canteens, food outlets and vending machines located on company premises.
Thanks to Zero, at the Rome premises alone, we will avoid the release into the atmosphere of almost 64 tonnes of CO2, saving the energy equivalent of 359 barrels of oil and 1925 cubic metres of water per year, roughly the volume required to fill an Olympic swimming pool.
According to a study by Legambiente, Italy leads Europe in the consumption of single-use bottles per person and is in second place worldwide, after Mexico. The European Union directive does not prohibit the sale of these bottles but requests that, by 2029, at least 90% of them will be collected for recycling, with an intermediary target of 77% by 2025. Enel has, however, decided to eliminate them immediately, along with the other single-use plastics: a further step towards sustainability and an indication of how seriously we take our responsibility towards our planet.