Italy: Every Can Counts on the beaches of Calabrian coasts

“In the marine parks of Calabria…every can counts” is the joint initiative of the Ente Parchi Marini Regionali della Calabria [Agency for the Regional Marine Parks of Calabria], CIAL – Consorzio Nazionale Imballaggi Alluminio [National Consortium of Aluminium Packaging] and Coca-Cola, which involves 11 municipalities* in the area of the Marine Parks of Calabria.

Equipped with special backpacks, in July and August, the project supporters will move along the beaches, streets and squares of the identified locations. Their dual objective is the recovery of empty beverage cans (while encouraging consumers to keep public open spaces clean) and raising awareness, among residents and tourists, of the importance of the circular economy, promoting good practices for proper waste disposal.

But that’s not all. About 100 small waste separation and recycling areas will be set up on the beaches, with dedicated bins for the separate collection of cans, marked by a customised sail so that bathers can recognise the areas accredited to the project.

Aluminium is a permanent material, 100% recyclable an unlimited number of times because it can preserve its properties forever. If well sorted at home and then selected, it can be easily recycled and transformed into new aluminium, ready to give new life to many durable items at a particularly low environmental cost. The cans collected during the two months of activity will be used to create some Riciclette (the now iconic city bikes made with the equivalent of 800 recycled beverage cans), which will be donated by CIAL, Coca Cola and Ente per i Parchi Marini Regionali to the municipalities involved, for use in the implementation of their sustainable mobility projects.

“The Agency for the Regional Marine Parks of Calabria was established in 2018 to protect and enhance the extraordinary biodiversity of Calabria’s marine and coastal environments, a treasure trove of biodiversity to be guarded and preserved for future generations,” states Ilario Treccosti, Extraordinary Commissioner of the EPMR. “In a fruitful team effort with the park’s municipalities – which include the 2021 Blue Flags Praia a Mare, Diamante, Tropea and Soverato – a series of initiatives has been launched, including the ‘In Calabria’s marine parks…every can counts’ campaign.”

For the protection and enhancement of the sea of Calabria, the Commissioner hopes that the collaboration with the Aluminium Packaging Consortium and Coca Cola HBC Italia, which began with this campaign, can be extended to other significant environmental education initiatives.

“Since its inception in 1997, CiAl has been acting on two fronts. On the one hand, it brings together the protagonists of the entire industrial chain to stimulate the sector’s sustainable development and, on the other, it promotes initiatives throughout the country aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of recycling aluminium, a precious raw material. There is no doubt that its recycling provides undisputed economic, social and environmental benefits. It is extraordinarily rewarding for us when, as in this case, we can cooperate with other organisations that are able to grasp the full value of our mission. In this project we have really teamed up with an organisation set up to protect a breathtakingly beautiful stretch of our national territory and with one of the most important and best-known brands in the world,” says Giuseppina Carnimeo, General Manager of CIAL.

“We are proud to be able to carry out this initiative with the Ente Parchi Marini della Calabria and CIAL, because it fits in perfectly with our sustainability commitments,” says Giangiacomo Pierini, Director of Institutional Affairs and Communications at Coca-Cola HBC Italia. “For years we have been working to make the concept of circular economy a reality, both through awareness and collection projects like this one and, upstream, in the design phase of our packaging, in which we continue to reduce the raw materials used. In the last 10 years, for example, we have reduced the aluminium in our cans by 15% and a few months ago we introduced our new bottles made from 100% recycled plastic.” 

The results of the “In the Calabria Marine Parks…every can counts” campaign will be announced during the annual “European Sustainable Mobility Week” from 16 to 22 September.


The “Every Can Counts” initiative, active in Italy since 2019, is part of the much broader European project “Every Can Counts”, which today brings together 19 European countries with the aim of implementing and promoting the collection of aluminium cans in places other than homes, such as parks, beaches and tourist resorts, and also (for example) during major sporting and cultural events.

In Italy, the project is coordinated by CIAL to increase aluminium waste separation, a feather in the cap for our country where about 70% of the packaging made of this material is recovered every year.

In the last two years, despite the health emergency, Every Can Counts has already been promoted on several occasions, such as during the Moto GP in Misano, the Viareggio Carnival, the Giffoni Children’s Film Festival and, last summer, on the beaches of Soverato. This experience provided the input to involve other municipalities in Calabria’s Marine Parks this year.

*Municipalities involved in the initiative: Praia a Mare (CS) – Diamante (CS) – Belmonte Calabro (CS) – Vibo Valentia – Briatico (VV) – Zambrone (VV) – Parghelia (VV) – Tropea (VV) – Brancaleone (RC) – Bianco (RC) – Soverato (CZ)