Stefania
Barberio

Project: Towards a Plastic Free Future

Stefania Barberio holds a Master degree in building engineering from the Politecnico di Bari; she has specialized in the field of sustainability and energy efficient buildings. She first lived abroad whilst studying at the Graz University of Technology in Austria. She began her career as sustainability consultant in 2013, with a European scholarship that brought her to Transsolar GmBH in Stuttgart and then later to their Paris team. In May 2018 she joined Le Sommer Environnement as Project Manager. Working as sustainability consultant - trained in BREEAM assessments and LEED AP - she has had the opportunity to acquire a breadth of knowledge on sustainability; human comfort and well-being; energy efficiency; and circular economy.

The project has been formulated due to the growing realisation of the negative impact of single use plastics on the environment and the recent adoption of the Single-Use Directive by the European Parliament. Stefania’s project aims to use the European Directive as a starting point to test and implement sustainable solutions that could represent a model for local and national governments. Though consumers are now more aware of the negative impacts of plastic, they still need guidance on choosing the right product. The project will be developed with two goals: the first to creating a label to that helps consumers to identify types of plastic in a product, including whether it can be recycled. The second goal is to build a network of companies, restaurants, supermarkets, and others – identified by a similar label – who want to collaborate to build a circular economy in Paris and transition it into a plastic free city.  

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

"As Ellen MacArthur said: “there will be more waste plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, unless the industry cleans up its act”. Plastic in the ocean is one of the main challenges we are going to face in the near future. The best waste is the one that is not produced. The first action to reduce single-use plastic consumption lies in promoting a circular economy model, based on reusing and recycling products rather than disposing of them. Involving people is the next step to take to make them responsible for their purchases and aware of the alternatives.

The idea came from my daily experiences with plastic, particularly packaging. Most of the time, plastic is hidden from the consumer; is not recyclable; and/or is superfluous. Staying mindful of plastic whilst grocery shopping can be very challenging and expensive. Being environmentally responsible should not mean consumers have to pay more for products; on the contrary, it should be more affordable for them to buy plastic free products. These considerations and my personal experience led me to engage myself in this new challenge."

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