The LifeGate PlasticLess Seabin reaches Athens and Milan, thanks to KLM and Armata di Mare

After Venice, Naples and Genoa, the new LifeGate PlasticLess Seabin reaches Athens and Milan thanks to KLM and Armata di Mare’s participation in the LifeGate PlasticLess project.

The new LifeGate PlasticLess® Seabin device has now reached Athens thanks to KLM Italia and Armata di Mare. After the “rubbish bins of the sea” installed in Naples, Genoa, Venice and Milan thanks to these companies’ support, our tour following the #perunmarepulito (“for a cleaner sea”) campaign continues.

KLM and Armata di Mare support LifeGate PlasticLess®: follow the story

Athens, 3 July 2019

The LifeGate PlasticLess Seabin is becoming increasingly widespread across Europe: on 3 July, Athens – capital of Greece and cradle of democracy – became the latest new home for the plastic-removing device. The LifeGate Seabin was installed at Flisvos Marina, the city’s tourist port. With this installation, KLM continues to demonstrate its care for the marine environment and the creatures that inhabit it.

Stavros Katsikadis, CEO of LAMDA Flisvos Marina SA, the company that manages Flisvos Marina, said: “We’re very happy with KLM’s initiative and it’s our honour that the company has chosen our marina for the first placement of Seabin in Greece. Flisvos Marina, the multi-awarded marina, has for years had a respectable environmental impact throughout its operation and remains focused on the continuous reduction of its environmental footprint and on the protection of marine waters and the environment in general and is looking for solutions and ways of educating the public about all the relevant environmental issues. We’re a company that is constantly setting higher standards, and recently, during our celebrations on the occasion of World Environment Day, we announced the plastic straw ban on all marina café, bars and restaurants. With initiatives like this, we show our dedication to the protection of our environment and our natural resources, and our commitment to serving in any way the modern environmental needs of our society”.

Milan Darsena, 27 June 2019

The Milan Darsena, a “port” along the Navigli canals that has become an important Milanese social hub, welcomed the fourth and latest (at least in Italy) LifeGate PlasticLess® Seabin device. Its installation at the local headquarters of the Associazione Nazionale Marinai d’Italia occurred thanks to the joint commitment of KLM Italia and Armata di Mare under the umbrella of the #perunmarepulito campaign.

At the launch, the results obtained by the “rubbish bin of the sea” were presented for the first time since installations began last April. And the numbers speak for themselves: the devices in Naples and Genoa in particular have already collected over 100 kg of plastic waste, equivalent to the weight of 7,000 bottles. The goal is to reach 2 tonnes over the course of a year.

“We thank KLM, LifeGate and Armata di Mare for this precious initiative that will help keep our Darsena clean,” Pierfrancesco Maran, Milan City Councillor for City-Planning, Environment and Agriculture, commented. “This environmental issue is more urgent and current than ever, and we need to make every effort to stimulate virtuous behaviours and promote a culture of sustainability. The Council is working to create a greener city, with fewer cars and less plastic, starting with the Milano Plastic Free campaign that was recently launched. It’s therefore important that this message is shared by private entities as well, which, as this case shows, can work actively towards the same goals”.

Venice, 21 June 2019

Venice has a new assistant in cleaning plastic waste from the lagoon: 21 June saw the inauguration of the third LifeGate Seabin sponsored by KLM Italia and Armata di Mare as part of the #perunmarepulito campaign. The device was installed at the Diporto Velico Veneziano and is set to collect around half a tonne of plastics and microplastics a year.

LifeGate PlasticLess
The inauguration of the LifeGate PlasticLess® Seabin at Venice’s Diporto Velico Veneziano © LifeGate PlasticLess®

Genoa, 24 May 2019

A 1000-year-old history deserves a future without plastic. This is why, thanks to KLM Italia and Armata di Mare, Genoa’s Porto Antico (Old Port) also has its own Seabin to help remove waste from the sea. The installation was carried out in collaboration with Teksea, a consulting firm that specialises in sustainable innovation, which is supporting the Porto Antico in the progressive reduction of plastic waste.

“We joined LifeGate’s initiative because it’s completely coherent with our commitment to sustainability. Supporting the #perunmarepulito campaign is extremely valuable for the present and future well-being of our seas. And we’re doing this together with our partner, Armata di Mare, who we’ve been collaborating with for over a year”. These the words of Jerome Salemi, Director General of Air France-KLM East Mediterranean. “Its philosophy is fully coherent with our commitment to sustainability, which has seen the Air France-KLM Group be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for 13 consecutive years, including 2018. We’re the only airline present on the European list, which is published by Dow Jones, Standard & Poor’s and RobecoSAM, and is based on companies’ economic, social and environmental performance”.

LifeGate Plasticless
From the left: Enea Roveda, LifeGate CEO; Jerome Salemi, Director General of Air France-KLM East Mediterranean; Admiral Nicola Carlone, Marine Director for Liguria; Alberto Cappato, Director General of Genoa’s Porto Antico; Patrizia Cortesi, Director of Marketing and Communication at Facib © LifeGate PlasticLess®

Where it all began: Naples, 16 April 2019

We couldn’t have hoped for a better day for the inauguration of the first LifeGate PlasticLess®Seabin at the Porticciolo del Molosiglio, the headquarters of Naples’ Lega Navale (Navy League). The gulf that embraces the city was shining and colourful in the warm sunlight, and a pleasant breeze came in from the sea. Surrounded by this idyllic landscape, a variety of figures – including Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris and Olympic champion, swimmer Massimiliano Rossolino – met up to confront the issue of plastic pollution in the sea head on.

The debate showed the willingness of everyone involved to work together to find solutions to the growing problem, such as the one inaugurated that day: the LifeGate PlasticLess® Seabin, a device that can collect over half a tonne of floating waste (including plastics, microplastics and microfibres) a year. It was installed thanks to sponsorship from the Italian branch of KLM, the Dutch national airline, and the men’s fashion label Armata di Mare via the LifeGate PlasticLess® project. With the goal not only of cleaning the seas, but creating virtuous synergies to discourage the use of (especially single-use) plastics.

Read more: The LifeGate PlasticLess® project

LifeGate PlasticLess® arrives in Naples thanks to KLM and Armata di Mare

“The humanity you can find here can be traced back to the fact that it’s a city by the sea”, Mayor de Magistris said in describing the symbiotic relationships between Naples and the marine environment. “The sea is a source of life, a gateway to infinite possibilities. This city will never contain walls or barbed wire, and our hope is to become the capital of the Mediterranean by building bridges of humanity and peace”. The city isn’t only committed to social improvements, it’s also focused on environmental issues, something that KLM Italia and Armata di Mare, alongside the city’s Navy League, seized upon with their collaboration, which led to the installation of the LifeGate Seabin.

seabin lifegate plasticless lega navale napoli klm armata di mare
A view of the Gulf of Naples. Thanks to an experimental decree instituted by the City Council, the seafront is set to be plastic-free for the entire summer © Alba Russo

“We decided to support LifeGate’s project, and to do this in Naples, because we know the city is very aware of the issue of plastic pollution“, stated Jerome Salemi, Director General of Air France-KLM East Mediterranean. Patrizia Cortesi – Director of Marketing and Communications at Facib, the company that distributes the Armata di Mare brand – also highlighted important ties with the city: “We believe our brand represents the sea and sky of Naples, and also the best of the city’s lifestyle”. All of this with a clear goal in mind, to act on multiple fronts and start removing frightful amounts of plastic contamination. In Italy alone, 90 tonnes of the material reach the sea every day.

“With the LifeGate PlasticLess® initiative we’re taking part in the fight in an admittedly modest, but concrete way”, Salemi continued. Alfredo Vaglieco, president of Naples’ Navy League, also highlighted the project’s tangible outcomes. “This type of small port is constantly plagued by floating waste, brought by winds and currents. With the help of LifeGate’s Seabin we’re able to collect it in a more systematic way“. A solution which, thanks to LifeGate PlasticLess®, can be adopted by other ports and marinas. “In the next month, we’ll have installed the first 40 Seabins throughout the Italian coast, and within a year we’ll have expanded to five countries”, explains Simone Molteni, LifeGate’s Scientific Director, reminding us of the project’s goal,”placing as many Seabins as possible in every port in the Mediterranean”.

The Navy League and Naples’ plastic-free coastline

“The bin we’re installing is a symbol, but what’s really important is the virtuous cycle it can set off”, Molteni added. “We want to plant the seeds of awareness that can induce all local agents to reflect and play their part in helping tackle the problem. We installed this bin in Naples’ Navy League, and today it was announced that the site will soon become plastic-free: this shows that the seed has already blossomed”. A consideration confirmed by Vaglieco: “The local branch has decided to ban plastics, in particular single-use ones”, opting instead for biodegradable alternatives and “inviting members to do the same on their own vessels”.

Mayor Luigi de Magistris spoke about the experimental decree, which began on the 1st of May and ends the 30th of September, to make Naples’ entire seafront plastic-free, except for biodegradable plastics © KLM Italia

And it’s not only the Porticciolo del Molosiglio that’s being transformed. “We’ve adopted an experimental decree, starting on the 1st of May and ending the 30th of September, to make the whole seafront plastic-less, except for biodegradable alternatives”, announced Mayor de Magistris. “If we want to protect the environment we have to change our behaviour, otherwise they’re just words. In September we’ll start extending the decree to the entire city”. “When we talk about the sea, people forget that it’s here twelve months a year, not just in the summer, when it gets the most attention”, said Rosolino, who feels a strong connection to his home city of Naples. The concept was also iterated by Pietro Vella, marine director for the Campania region and Commander of the Naples Port Authority: “The sea belongs to everyone, and we all have to contribute to its protection and try to preserve its beautiful resources for the future”.

#perunmarepulito and the recycled plastic capsule collection

KLM Italia launched the #perunmarepulito campaign to raise awareness of the issue and commit to collecting a kilo of plastic for every image of the Mediterranean Sea posted on social media with the initiative’s hashtag. “We think it’s very important to insist on individual responsibility”, explained Salemi. This stance was supported by Rosolino, who believes that the importance of his role as an influencer and spokesperson for the campaign stems from the fact that, “nowadays you don’t need to be on television, social media is a great vehicle to spread those opportunities within our reach to make things better”.

seabin lifegate plasticless lega navale napoli klm armata di mare
Alfredo Vaglieco, president of Naples’ Navy League, KLM’s Jerome Salemi, swimmer Massimiliano Rosolino and Armata di Mare’s Patrizia Cortesi launch the LifeGate PlasticLess® Seabin © KLM

The virtuous cycle is completed by another initiative by KLM Italia and Armata di Mare, who collaborated to create a capsule fashion collection made from materials derived from recycled plastics and sold at OVS stores. Another choice that aims to raise awareness of the issue because, “seeing, touching and wearing the clothes shows us that we can choose plastic-less or recycled products without sacrificing quality”, as Cortesi stated. Armata di Mare, to celebrate its sixtieth birthday, has decided to “embark on a more explicitly ecological path”, because “we believe in innovation and sustainability” as Cortesi explained, setting an example for other fashion brands. KLM Italia has also decided to devote more attention to “demonstrating to other companies that it’s possible to have a tangible impact in the fight against plastic pollution”, Salemi pointed out. And if, in Rosolino’s words, “a good citizen cares about their city”, then we all have a responsibility in protecting the sea, as it’s part of all our lives.

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