Today, the City of Venice has formally joined the global WWF Plastic Smart Cities initiative. With the approval of the proposal presented by Councillor for the Environment Massimiliano De Martin, Venice is the first Italian city to join the initiative and commit to eliminate plastic leakage in nature by 2030.
In his announcement, Councillor De Martin highlighted that with the signing of the declaration of intent with WWF, the municipal administration aims to reaffirm its commitment to protect the environment and eliminate the dispersion of plastic in nature by 2030, by developing an action plan that includes, among other things, the launch of a pilot project that will lead to a 30% reduction in plastic pollution within two years.
“Venice every year during the day of the Sensa "marries" the sea and therefore could not fail to be at the forefront of this important campaign in its defense,” he said.
In the next few months, the municipality will start implementing measures that have already been approved, such as the elimination of plastics from local fairs and festivals or the elimination of non-biodegradable packaging for home deliveries.
The protocol also commits Venice to involve key sectors and stakeholders in the evaluation and improvement of policies, services and funding to prevent the production of plastic waste and promote their management with circular solutions, to develop a plan to monitor activities with annual baselines and targets and to share progress with WWF through its reporting activities, with an active involvement of stakeholders and citizens in the development and implementation of the policies to be adopted.
Donatella Bianchi, President at WWF Italy said: “We are proud that Venice, one of the most beloved cities in the world and a symbol of Mediterranean’s beauty and fragility, has now committed to join WWF and take the lead in the fight against plastic pollution. Together with an already large network of tourist coastal cities in the north and south of the Mediterranean like Nice, Dubrovnik, Izmir and Tangier, WWF is building a large civic mobilization for the protection of our sea from plastic waste. The COVID19 pandemic has further accentuated the call for urgent solutions to plastic pollution globally and in the Mediterranean, one of the most polluted seas in the world by microplastic that is impacting all marine ecosystems and our health.”
The Plastic Smart Cities initiative promoted by WWF aims to collaborate with at least 25 cities or islands in the Mediterranean to obtain concrete and measurable results to stop the leakage of plastic in nature by 2030. As reported by WWF, the Mediterranean is turning into a dangerous plastic trap: every year, about half a million tonnes of plastic enters Mediterranean waters - the equivalent of dumping 33,800 plastic bottles into the sea every minute. Plastic pollution will keep growing, with plastic waste generation in the region expected to quadruple by 2050.
The "Venice and Izmir together against plastic pollution" project is implemented thanks to the support of the Blue Planet Virginia Böger Foundation.
Today, WWF and the Plastic Smart Cities community, celebrate World Cities Day by reaffirming their commitment to no plastic in nature by 2030, and calling on more cities around the world to take action against plastic pollution.