All 2LIFES partners gathered in Marche Region (Italy) at the beginning of March to promote the exchange of best practices and take part in study visits.

Partners met on Wednesday 2nd March at Li Madou Building Marche Region to receive a warm welcome by Massimo Sbriscia and Lorenzo Federiconi. Information on the visit programme was provided, highlighting the diversity, the impact, and the creativity of many ongoing re-use projects in the region.

The first project related to the fishing sector, an important component of the local economy. Marche Region has been working to promote the use of re-usable plastic boxes for fisheries in the harbour of Ancona, instead of the typical single-use polystyrene which can release microplastics and pollute natural ecosystems. In fact, all partners had the opportunity to visit the Ancona harbour and see how the re-usable boxes will be used in the fish market.

In the afternoon, all partners travelled to Macerata to visit the Reuse Center of Macerata. Massimo Riccetti, from Risorse Coop. Sociale ETS, thoroughly explained how to manage a re-use center. He also highlighted the need to digitalize the re-use sector to ensure efficient management and better monitor the inflow and outflow of goods. The Mayor of Macerata, Sandro Parcaroli, attended the visit by giving a warm welcome speech and emphasizing the importance of the re-use centre for the city.

Later the same day, the group headed to visit the headquarters of COSMARI SRL, a public company entrusted with the service of integrated solid waste management in 55 municipalities, mainly in the province of Macerata, with an overall population of 340,000 inhabitants. COSMARI SRL presented a summary of its activities, including waste collection, composting, or solid waste management.

However, a key activity to visit was the re-use of natural stone materials from the demolition in the aftermath of the 2016 earthquake. Following the serious damage suffered by the historical and artistic heritage, and the great interest in rebuilding historic villages, re-use of original stones and bricks was envisioned as an adequate strategy to respect and enhance the identity of the territory.

On Thursday 3rd March, all partners headed to Santa Maria Nuova. During one hour and a half, at the Municipal Theatre, several initiatives and policies were presented, including the waste prevention policies of ATA Rifiuti (public authority for waste governance of the Province of Ancona), an overview of waste prevention policies of Jesi Municipality, or the re-usable nappies initiative Washable is healthy.

The next stop was the Playground Riù - Ludoteca Riù Santa Maria Nuova, one of the five Ludoteca Riù of Marche Region aiming to teach children to prevent and value waste. Through the manipulation and re-use of waste materials and creativity, children create toys, decorations, and have a lot of fun, all the while learning to live respecting the environment.

Finally, in the afternoon partners had the opportunity to visit Jesi, where they could learn about a café that promote the use of washable glasses instead of disposable ones, and Pesaro, where a study visit was done to the Playground Riù – Ludoteca Riù Pesaro, another of the five Ludoteca Riù of Marche Region aiming to teach children to prevent and value waste.