NEPI Rockcastle announces the launch of its first selective waste collection and at-source waste management program in all its shopping centres around all nine countries it operates in, including Romania. The two-step campaign entitled „The Nature of THANK YOU!” is targeted towards educating and raising awareness among clients, as well as retailers and partners regarding environmental issues, and its main objective is to encourage and reward a more responsible and friendly behaviour towards the natural environment.
As part of NEPI Rockcastle’s sustainability and social responsibility policy on a Group level, the campaign is dedicated to preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment by educating the public to adopt a nature-friendly lifestyle. The ambitious policy aims at ensuring maximum effectiveness in selective recycling by encouraging and awarding selective waste collection and recycling in 54 commercial centres, with 20 centres on a local level.
The first phase of the program is strategically placing selective waste collection stations for separately collecting different types of waste: paper and cardboard, plastic, metal, organic waste. By adopting the selective recycling process, clients and retailers are directly contributing to lower energy usage, less pollution, creating a clean environment and reducing the amount of waste that is collected and stored in landfills.
In addition, Mega Mall is introducing the BigBelly technology, an intelligent solution for recycling which provides real time data in order to make selective collection more effective. Mega Mall’s clients will be able to use 4 selective collection containers improved with BigBelly technology. Two of them are used for collecting plastic, glass and metal, and the other two for paper and cardboard waste. On a global level, BigBelly is a leader in intelligent recycling and waste management systems. The system is fitted with auto-refuel with natural light energy, hands-free pedals to avoid accidents, a waste compressing system for less waste transportation and an application that notifies the technical team when the containers are full and need to be emptied. Its selective collection system is the winner of the Smart City Prize (in Barcelona, Spain).
The second step of the program will set up a selective collection system to correctly recycle food waste and reduce the use of single-use disposable plastic in food courts, a proactive strategy for collecting source waste. Using the 4Rs rule: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, Repeat!, this initiative is meant to be an example of circular economy and an efficient way of protecting the environment by reducing the use of plastic in food courts and selectively collecting food waste.
Therefore, in all NEPI Rockcastle shopping centres located in Romania, the “The Nature of THANK YOU!” campaign is using branding materials to signal selective waste collection areas and how to correctly use them. “The Nature of THANK YOU!” is giving voice to its direct beneficiaries: Water, The Woods, The City and makes the public aware of the immediate positive impact selective recycling can have on these three environments.
NEPI Rockcastle’s social responsibility projects from all nine countries it operates in, including Romania, will be communicated under the #ResponsiblyTogether tagline, the Group’s social responsibility platform. “Responsibly, together” represents NEPI’s commitment to support community development and it brings together initiatives dedicated to its three important sustainability pillars – education, community and environment protection.
Why do we need to recycle?
- Most of the waste we generate ends up in landfills or gets burned. In 2017, 46 % of the municipal waste generated in the EU-28 and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland were recycled;
- Municipal waste recycling rates differ widely between European countries, ranging from 68 % in Germany to 0.3 % in Serbia in 2017;
- Every year, on a global scale, we produce 2.12 billion tones of waste that ends up in landfills – 22% is food waste, 19%plastics, 13% paper, 11% leather and textiles. Landfills are among the biggest contributors to soil pollution – roughly 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled;
- A single recycled plastic bottle saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours. It also creates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than would be created when making a new bottle;
- It takes 500 years for average sized plastic water bottles to fully decompose;
- The energy it takes to make 5 million tons of plastic could power 250,000 homes;
- There are 25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometre litter the deep sea;
Over 100,000 marine animals die every year from plastic entanglement and ingestion.