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Less is Better

Reduction of single-use plastic usage within Milan's childcare facilities

Plastic is the symbol of the economic boom. This material is cheap, versatile and light: that is why it is considered a revolutionary innovation and it is accessible to everyone. Its extraordinary traits, though, caused the establishment of an unsustainable production and consumption system: use it once and then throw it away. Plastic isn't a problem in itself; how we use it is. To minimize our environmental impact, it is crucial to improve recycling practices and decrease the dispersion of plastic waste in the environment. But this is not enough.
We must address the whole product lifecycle. Less is Better is part of the growing global movement which pushes governments, companies and communities into adopting sustainable practices and models, such as circular economy, to reduce our impact on our planet.

In 1954, at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Giulio Natta invented polypropylene.
Since that time, global plastic production has increased twenty-fold, reaching a total of 322 million tons in 2015. Plastic pollution represents a difficult and demanding challenge: we need unconventional and communal solutions to solve this problem.
Milan is already tackling the problem of plastic waste. Less is Better project is implemented within the city's childcare facilities, in order to limit single-use plastic usage, as indicated in the 2030 Agenda and in the European Single-Use Plastic Directive.

Planning a more sustainable, innovative and replicable purchasing and consumption model is possible thanks to the Life Cycle Assessment's scientific approach and an eco-design process.
The initiative is directed to educators, school operators, children and students. A simple and intuitive educational kit is going to be provided to educators. The kit contains theoretical and scientific notions, interactive features and games, so that children may understand how important it is to adopt a sustainable behaviour.
Thanks to 30 interactive activities, which involve educational games, children from 3 to 6 will immediately start to learn with the kit.
High school students are also going to be engaged in an educational and awareness-raising programme. They are becoming true PlasticLess Heroes and frontline supporters of a sustainable change.
Schools aren't the only target: through a strong and awareness-raising digital campaign, we explain to other young people, families and citizens why adopting a sustainable consumption behaviour is important.
Less is Better is also providing the city of Milan with a methodological approach and an evaluation system to help everyone making more sustainable choices. Results about economic and environmental advantages made possible by these experiences are shared during exchange and dialogue opportunities, aiming at giving a replicable example.

The project is implemented by Cooperativa Demetra and supported by Fondazione Cariplo, in collaboration with Istituto Oikos and the Municipality of Milan.


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