The “Environmental Natives” advertising campaign opened with a cheerful and colourful circle of children playing Giro Girotondo, the Italian equivalent of the nursery rhyme Ring a Ring o’ Roses, in which a line was replaced with the words “save the world, save the earth”.

The initiative, presented today at Expo Milano, is promoted by the Minister for the Environment Gian Luca Galletti in collaboration with CIAL – Consorzio Nazionale per il Recupero e il Riciclo degli Imballaggi in Alluminio [Italian Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Aluminium Packaging], CONAI, and other recycling consortia: Ricrea for steel, Comieco for paper, Rilegno for wood, Corepla for plastic and Coreve for glass.

“Environmental Natives” is a national environmental protection campaign created with the aim of stimulating virtuous behaviour in citizens from a new perspective: allowing future generations to grow up in a society where good environmental practices – such as separate waste collection and recycling – are entirely natural and instinctive.

The enthusiasm of the children aged 4 to 10 present at the Universal Exhibition was truly infectious. Wearing t-shirts with a “giro girotondo” inscription, they handed each other packaging waste, as in a game, showing the adults in the audience how separate waste collection and recycling can be simple and natural. As easy as a playground singing game, but with the ambition of ‘saving the world’, for a lighter future without the burden of waste.

“You are the future of this country,” Minister Gian Luca Galletti said, addressing the young participants at the event. “You should consider yourselves the guardians of our Environment,” he added, “teaching us grown ups the right way to behave and telling us where we go wrong. You have the right to inherit a better world,” said the minister talking to the children, “but you also have the duty to take care of it, starting with your garden, your home. Respecting the environment,” added Mr Galletti, “means not wasting natural resources, not wasting energy. Love and respect for the environment should become a lifestyle, an attitude to be learnt from an early age, as fast as children learn to use tablets and computers.”

Therein lies the cultural challenge: ‘digital natives’ should also strive to become ‘environmental natives’, leading the country towards a future rooted in sustainable development.

The campaign will kick-off in September on TV, radio, the press and billboards throughout southern Italy, reiterating the commitment that CIAL and other national consortia devote to those areas of the country that struggle to reach levels of excellence in the collection and recycling of materials.


“In southern Italy,” said Gino Schiona, Director General of CIAL, “there are areas that have achieved high levels of recycling, also with regard to aluminium, but much remains to be done. The campaign, promoted by Minister Galletti and developed with a number of recycling consortia, will undoubtedly help many municipalities reach the goals set by the European Union, and it’s really exciting to see this come to life through children, our most attentive interlocutors”.

In Milan today, actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Expo ambassador and testimonial of the event, donated her appearance fee to the charity AILR.

Ms Cucinotta stars in the commercial alongside the children. Click here for a preview.

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