In July 2018 our friends of the Ekoe Cooperative contacted us: they had had an idea during a training session about compostable materials with a customer and they would like to share it with us.
A Plastic Free Certification? At the time the focus on the plastic free issue was already high, but there was nothing like a certification for those who wanted to take the plastic free path. An ambitious idea, with many obstacles on the way, but urgent and necessary.
We look each other and we think: yes, we would love to be part of this project and to make an important and innovative contribution to the issue. We come from very different realities but we have an invisible thread that binds our paths: the protection and the safety of the Planet and the Human Being.
Luca, an expert in European standards, get started and the Plastic Free Standard begins to take shape.
We meet periodically and if we can’t all be present live we use alternative channels to discuss the Standard, the improvements to be made, the practical difficulties that customers might have in the Plastic Free Standard application. After almost a year, the Plastic Free Standard sees the light in its (first) final version.
Plastic Free Certification has officially born: an innovative start-up owner of the first Plastic Free Standard in Italy and certification body also.
Mauro Colagreco, already engaged in a personal plastic free path, contacts us for his restaurant in Menton, the Mirazur, and he becomes our first customer.
It is a very exciting moment, that leads us to receive many requests in the following months for information and collaborations from every part of the world, literally.
We can’t believe it and we don’t have time to stop and to think: there is so much work to do, we would need to work on the project full-time, day and night, to translate all the material in five languages, to manage the requests, to take care of the site, to assist the customers.
Everything seems to be going better than we could just imagine. Dominique Crenn contacted us for her Atelier in San Francisco, California. We organize the trip in a few days, they need training on alternative materials and helps on the Plastic Free Standard. Laura returned a few days before the borders closed due to the coronavirus.
A complicated period begins, Plastic Free Certification stops and none of us knows if this beautiful project will go on or if it will be sucked into the black hole of the activities that cease to exist because of the Covid19.
We don’t give up, we return to work on the Plastic Free Standard. We make it easier and we improve all the documentation. Again we have to translate all the material into English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Little by little something begins to move again, old and new contacts decide to start the certification program. Of course the process is slow, due to lockdown and stops. But the sustainable conscience returns even more strongly than before.
And here we are, as always. We decide to become a Benefit Company. We expand the network of our Italian and international partners. We launch training projects for teachers and pupils in schools. We join Asvis, Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development. We participate in a European project to implement block chain solutions and ensure even more security and transparency to our customers.
The challenges that we have to face in this new year are a lot. Our strategy? Doing what we do and we like to do, dedicating to this project our soul and our heart, because there is no other way to achieve our goals.