As we become more and more aware of the sheer volume of microplastics littering our beloved natural environments (from the Rockies to Lake Tahoe and the Pyrenees), efforts to reduce waste and move toward sustainability have thankfully been increasing. One such effort is being undertaken by Pejo 3000, an Italian ski resort in Val di Sole, Trentino. By banning the use of plastic bottles, bags, cutlery, plates, straws, cups, and condiment sachets in early December, the resort is trying to become the first in Europe to fully ban plastic.
The resort has three mountain huts, which already no longer stock plastic items, and further work will be done to eliminate products that produce microplastics. In January, for example, the resort will remove the plastic covers from its one-day ski passes.
According to Christian Casarotto, a glaciologist at the Science Museum in Trento, “If plastic products reach the mountains, they will remain there for a long period of time, even decades, and they will then transform into environmental and health damage, and enter into the food chain. Projects that aim to limit the use of plastic products are urgently needed. They should be applied throughout the Alps.”
Pejo 3000 also plans to improve waste collection, recycling, and energy use in its effort to become Europe’s first completely plastic-free resort.