Sometime end of Novemeber, someone from a running site (FetchEveryone) asks me if I am doing the Pisa Marathon.
I respond No.
She tells me I have been featured on their website. I had a look and sure enough there I was:
Of course it would be rude not to go. I looked at the most recent stats I could find, and it painted a bleak picture of recycling of plastics in Italy. At best it reached 4% in 2012.
Ok this is 2016, so there have been improvements. I know in Rome, shops have been charging for plastic bags and some have provided a small discount on your shopping. The Rome marathon gave away a good back pack and cloth bags as part of the “give away” to runners.
Last stat I’ve just seen shows about 35% of plastic is recycled in Italy overall and this is a pretty typical figure throughout the world. Here is a document about Plastic Recycling in Europe.
My Northern Italian friends have told me that the North is very good at recycling.
But the school children from a school I visited in Rome told me a bleak picture of toxic waste going to the South and of Northern waste being handled by Southern companies.
Medi was thrown down from the heavens to remind Italy about this toxic waste.
There have been newspaper articles about this, however thought you might like to read this directly from someone who lives in an affected area in the South.
….and sadly it appears this is still happening today.
I will not let the children down, and hope I can continue to highlight this back to the North of Italy via the Pisa Marathon so that they can hopefully review their own processes for waste disposal (including household waste) and not simply turn their back because they “paid” someone else to dispose of it for them. Because the Northern waste is ending up in illegal landfills, rivers and the Mediterranean ocean.
Let’s hope North Industries can take stock, review and change to improve practices. After all the lives that are suffering are people, animals and plants. Yes it costs to be sustainable but how about making this month onwards all about caring 🙂
I will continue to drag this waste issue out all the way to the Pisa Marathon because it is all about effort. And if people want to feel effort, try dragging an 8kg tyre non-stop through 26.2 miles.
Some great news, Pisa Marathon have just recently responded to my BYOB requests to runners. They will be using glasses instead of plastic cups……
Perhaps it is toughened glass! Anyway it’s a start and Italy appears to do a great job on recycling glass (@ 70%)- so bring it on.