New technology installed to clean the Arno river

A plastic-collecting environmental campaign from Coop and LifeGate

Editorial Staff
July 16, 2020 - 16:20

This afternoon, a new environmental campaign was presented by supermarket chain Coop near Florence’s Ponte Vecchio.





Floating on the banks of the historic rowing club, the first Seabin device installed by Coop is expected to collect more than 500 kilograms of plastic waste, including micro plastics and microfibers, from the Arno River annually. Deceptively small in size, the Seabin is fixed to a dock with the upper part floating on the surface of the water. The device will operate around the clock, pumping up to 25,000 litres of water per hour, and the rowing club members will be responsible for emptying the apparatus. The technology is promoted by Lifegate, a Lombardy-headquartered benefit corporation, whose mission is to engage and expand a network of people, businesses, NGOs and institutions committed to building a sustainable future.



The Seabin device installed by a dock at Florence's historic rowing club



“We were delighted to embrace this partnership with LifeGate,” comments Maura Latini, managing director of Coop Italia, while attending the press conference in Florence. “We are happy to begin our new campaign in Florence and in the Arno River, here in the city centre, certain that we are doing something practical to improve the ecosystem of our waters. This gesture is perfectly in line with the principles of environmental sustainability to which Coop aspires and we can rely on the fact that the 800-plus members and 30 athletes of the rowing club will adopt the Seabin.”




Concerns about the amount of plastic in the central Italian river were addressed in a recent report by Arpat Toscana (regional agency for environmental protection). According to calculations made by the Dutch engineering environmental NGO Ocean Clean Up, 18,700 kilograms of waste are carried by the Arno River every year, making it one of the most critical rivers in Italy at certain points along its course.


The Our Waters project by the supermarket brand is starting in Florence but will soon extend to 25 additional points along Italy’s rivers, lakes and coasts. Pescara, Genoa, Lake Maggiore, Castiglione della Pescaia, Livorno, Brindisi, Milan, Trieste and Ravenna are just some of the places where the Seabin will make a positive splash over the next twelve months. 

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