Milan residents

Best city for environment

Milan’s residents spend more time than other Italian city dwellers in urban parks, especially at weekends and in lunch breaks, and are willing to undertake to keep their green areas clean and tidy.

That’s the result of a survey by opinion research institute SWG, commissioned by the Sanpellegrino Group, producers of a well-known brand of mineral water and soft drinks, and published this week.

Milanesi visit their parks on an average almost three times a week – that’s about one day more than people in other Italian cities. And not just on bank holidays and weekends: one in five also relax in parks during their lunch hour.

They perceive their urban green areas as a refuge from working stress, a magical place to break with routine and enjoy a little peace and quiet. This leads to picnics, not just in T-shirts at the wekend but even in suit and tie during the week. And this in turn leads to a wish to keep the parks clean and not spoil the magic.

This means Milan is providing a good example, as shown by the 21st edition of the Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum, which was held last March, and which introduced Milan as Europe’s city with the highest percentage of recycled waste, on a par with Vienna.

Milanesi also want to see more bins for differentiated waste, the research discovered. Setting out more differentiated waste bins, in particular those for plastics, is very important, because over 40 per cent of respondents said they drank mineral water in plastic bottles in the parks, and 17 per cent, when they didn’t find a recycling waste bin, took their empties with them to throw away later. Almost 80 per cent of Milanese respondents are aware that recycling plastics helps the environment, reduces pollution and can make waste into a resource.

The Sanpellegrino Group, in partnership with city environmental agenct AMSA and A2A, the company managing local environmental services, and with the sponsorship of city hall, has set up “ecological oases” in the most visited parks – Parco Montanelli, Parco Solari, Parco Lambro, Parco Ravizza, Parco Camilla Cederna, Largo Richini and the Guastalla Gardens. These oases contain colour-coded bins for dirrent categories of diferentiated waste and signs illustrating how PET plastics can be 100 per cent recycled to produce new products.