Innovative circular economy projects for smart cities

Gruppo CAP in the spotlight at Milano Design Week 2021 - Furniture and fountains made of plastic recycled from expired food packaging and bio-energy from food waste from Milano Ristorazione. These are the green projects that the water utility brought to the RoGUILTLESSPLASTIC 2021 exhibition conceived by Rossana Orlandi at the Leonardo da Vinci Science and Technology Museum from 5th to 12th September.

© Davide Stanga

Gruppo CAP, manager of the integrated water service for the Milan metropolitan area, has been at the forefront of Milan Design Week with the avant-garde and innovation of some of its circular economy projects that characterise the public company’s sustainable vision. From the bio-energy produced by Milano Ristorazione’s food waste to In-VISIBLE, a new concept of fountain made with plastic recycled from yoghurt and powdered milk packages that can no longer be sold or have expired, in collaboration with Design DIFFERENTE, a vertical coworking/fablab on circular economy issues. A contemporary and therefore hybrid space, which aims to connect the area’s culture of making with new developments in sustainability by promoting a new design, “design DIFFERENT”.

These are the green initiatives that CAP brought to the RoGUILTLESSPLASTIC 2021 international exhibition “SAVE THE WASTE, WASTE IS VALUE” conceived by Rossana Orlandi, which could be visited from 4th to 12th September in the three themed spaces created inside the Leonardo da Vinci Science and Technology Museum: TrashFormation Village in the gardens, Hall of Waste in the cloisters, re-Food Market in the Last Supper Room.

“The creative and productive potential of what we call waste is infinite,” explains Alessandro Russo, chairman and CEO of Gruppo CAP. Today the end of waste must be considered among the primary resources for achieving the desired energy transition. Guided by our sustainability strategy, which confronts us with very ambitious challenges, we understood the importance of this years ago, starting to produce biomethane from sewage sludge, but also bioenergy from food waste from Milano Ristorazione, collected in our Robecco sul Naviglio plant, or with expired food products, which we collect in the Sesto San Giovanni plant to produce biogas and recycle the packs. Concrete projects that we want to share during this edition of the Salone del Mobile dedicated to the restart of the country system, in which the Milan area is the capital of design and a reference point for Italy and the whole world”.

Inside the TrashFormation Village in the Giardino Olona space, the water utility was present with one of its most representative sustainable design projects: the In-VISIBLE Fountain. Born in 2016 following the competition “Public water and digital fabrication”, it is the result of the creativity of two young designers trained by the Polytechnic of Turin, Carlotta Antonietti and Marzia Tolomei, finalist at the Ro Plastic Prize on 9 September. The futuristic design of the fountain, whose lines create a striking optical effect, is associated with CAP’s green vocation, as it is made entirely of plastic recovered from the waste materials of food packaging.

Recycled plastic will be the reference material present in the Hall of Waste space at the Olona cloister. Panels and furniture of the stand reserved for Gruppo CAP will be made with the same circular economy logic, through a production process that reassembles waste materials, first shredded and then melted through a heated press. A technique that can be considered a concrete demonstration of the event’s payoff “Waste is value”. CAP’s space will also be a point of information to learn more about the ARCA project in Milan, CAP’s new headquarters in Via Rimini, a building with high sustainability standards that aims to become a meeting place and a point of reference for the Via Rimini neighbourhood in Milan.

Inside the Esselunga space, in the area reserved for the RE-FOOD MARKET, CAP also presented the circular economy project that aims to make use of the waste fats from the Milan Catering food production centre, to be converted, thanks to the use of the anaerobic biodigesters of the Robecco sul Naviglio plant, into electrical and thermal energy, useful for powering the processes and activities of the plant that serves the citizens of the upper Milan area.

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