In march 2010 Eataly, the world’s largest wine and food market, is phasing out traditional plastic carrier bags and adopting biodegradable and compostable bags and disposable tableware in Mater-Bi. Mater-Bi® is the family of bioplastics developed and marketed by Novamont which is naturally biodegradable and compostable in accordance with European regulations UNI EN 13432 and UNI EN 14995.

Mater-Bi guarantees a resistance and strength very similar to traditional plastics, but “biodegrades in composting” in just a few weeks. A tangible solution to the demand for low environmental impactbasic consumer commodities made from renewable resources of agricultural origin, thereby reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses and saving consumption of energy and non-renewable resources.

It thus completes a ‘virtuous circle’: raw materials of agricultural origin are returned to the soil by way of biodegrading and composting processes without the production of pollutants.

The bags will be manufactured in Second Generation Mater-Bi, the result of advances made at the Novamont biorefinery in Terni, with improvement of the polymer in terms of renewable raw materials content from non-food sources, leading to a reduction in environmental impact.

The new bags can be reused for separate refuse collection, thus becoming ideal tools for promoting quality organic refuse collection and supporting quality recycling of other refuse components.

Eataly will also use biodegradable disposable tableware in Mater-Bi®, which can be separately collected for initiation of composting in a dedicated plant. The Mater-Bi® disposable tableware also boasts “OK Compost” certification which guarantees transformation of the product into compost within a 90 day period pursuant to European regulation EN13432, if correctly disposed of in an industrial plant.

“This agreement with Eataly is an important sign that a culture is developing based on economic and environmental sustainability and the minimisation of refuse. Carriers bags and other reusable shopping bags may be convenient for consumers but they are among the products most likely end up littering the environment,” stresses Novamont CEO Catia Bastioli. “The adoption of biodegradable bags in Mater-Bi® can reduce environmental impact and encourage their reuse for separate collection of organic refuse, improving compost quality. Members of the public thus learn to value their carrier bags nd become more aware of environmental protection.”

“We firmly believe in the importance of defending the environment,” states Oscar Farinetti, Chairperson of Eataly, “and we have chosen Novamont, a leading company in the bioplastics sector, as our partner in this battle. We are convinced that in order to tackle the urgent problems of environmental pollution, solutions and products such as these second generation carrier bags and disposable tableware in Mater-Bi® must be developed.”