Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – August 2019 Novara Silicon Valley 2019

244 replies, 25 voices Last updated by Paolo Marenco 1 year, 8 months ago
  • Sara Catto

    Good morning everybody.

    Yesterday afternoon, in an english channel, I saw an interesting report about the plastic pollution: it’s not a news, but there are some remote control robot that “sail” in the sea and raise all the plastic which finds in its path (it collects about 350 kilograms of plastic per day). This is the link of the article (it’s in italian).


    What is your opinions about the plastic pollution? Which other solutions do you know about it? Let me know

    Have a nice Sunday




    Hi everyone!

    And hi to Sara, thanks for the article! I didn’t know about these waste sharks, but I always find it great when technologies are used to help solving huge problems that men alone can’t solve, I personally think it’s a clever way to make the best out of the innovation process. I just read that these drones not only collect garbage, but they also gather information such as water quality and weather data! Sustainable and useful tech projects like this one have an almost guatanteed success these days, and they also show us how creative entrepreneurialism is a key for many doors.

    About other solutions to plastic pollution instead, when I was in Germany few years ago I was happily surprised to see bottles recycling machines in many supermarkets: when you buy a canned or a bottled beverage, you pay few extra cents and this should encourage you to return the bottle and not throw it away, because once empty, the bottles can be deposited in the machine in exchange for money to spend in the same supermarket; this simple system reduces plastic waste and honestly it’s more fun than simply throwing bottles in a trash can. There should be many other countries adopting this solution! I found out Iceland already uses them actually, but I have never seen these recycling machines in Italy, I may be wrong though. Have a nice sunday!

    Eunice Curreri

    Good morning everyone!

    Thanks Sara for the article,it’s very interesting! Few months ago I read about a similar idea, in fact there’s also a machine, the Ocean Array Cleanup, created by the ong “The Ocean Cleanup”. The system consists of a chain of two kilometers-long floating barriers, which collects plastic waste from the sea by exploiting ocean currents,and once a month a boat collects the waste in the central part of the system. It’s also quite smart in my opinion, because it doesn’t need some energy to work! For its first use they chose to install the system in the bay of San Francisco for a test, and then they moved it in order to clean the Pacific Trash Vortex (a huge accumulation of floating garbage, composed by 80.000 tonne of plastic, located in the Pacific Ocean). If the structure will work, the intention is to install more, about other 60, with the big wish to pick up the 90% of plastic material within the 2040!

    I think it’s a great idea, especially because the plastic in the ocean it’s a danger every minute it pass, not only for the animals in the sea but also for us! Some researchers of the Austrian Environment Agency have found microplastic particles in the intestines of some people, this because the plastic in the long run turns into very tiny pieces, until it reaches us evidently.

    Finally, last summer in Croatia I saw too, like Benedetta, some machines to recycle bottles in the supermarkets. It’s a good idea in my opinion, if people don’t understand by theirself the importance to use trash cans properly, maybe giving them a little incentive could works and leads good results. There are a lot of  new system to overcome the problem of pollution in the World, the only thing to always helps is the willingness.

    Look at this new idea to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:  https://www.repubblica.it/ambiente/2018/10/23/news/portogallo_una_centrale_eolica_galleggiante_da_25_mw-209774885/?ref=fbpa

    Just to conclude I would like to express my happiness for the approval of the EU Parliament to abolish within the 2021 the use and sale of single-use plastic products (it’s the 70% of marine trash)! Now it needs the final confirmation from the meeting between the representatives of the European Council and the Commission.

    What do you think?

    Have a nice Sunday (despite the rain)!


    Stefano Garavaglia

    Good Afternoon everyone,

    Waste nowadays, and especially plastic ones, are every more day a hotter topic concerning the health of Earth. I remember when I went in Wales for two weeks eight years ago, and I found out that my hosts were storing plastic bottles in summer, to later burn them as well as wood in the fireplace. I was pretty shocked getting to know their feelings about it: quite normal, it’s still fire!

    From air pollution to marine one, plastic production and utilization is a serious threat for the environment and so is for the human being. The huge amount of trash collected by the pacific ocean is something scary, or at least should be so. And even if the 16 hours battery waste skark trying to clean up the mess could seem like David and Goliath, it’s amazing to find out in such many ways the problem could be faced, and hopefully solved in the long run.

    This shark, the plastic blocking chains, and above all the volunteers and associations that spend whole days on boats aiming to remove as much plastic as possible from our coastlines are a fantastic exemple of what can be done, but since prevention is more efficient than “healing”, the solution should be seeked and found higher in the “plastic lifecycle”. At odds, instead of cleaning oceans after it has been thrown away (and I agree with Eunice), we should simply avoid single-use plastic production and utilization. In this way, if we lower the amount of trash production, heightening the amount of trash collection, the “Pacific Plastic France” will (hopefully) be removed one day.

    Have a nice Evening,



    Hi everyone!

    Nice new topic here, good job. By the way, don’t forget to wait for everyone to full dive into the topic before moving on.

    So, let’s see what do you think about this project. Personally I find it so interesting, this is its mission:

    Precious Plastic is a global community of hundreds of people working towards a solution to plastic pollution. Knowledge, tools and techniques are shared online, for free. So everyone can start.”

    Go check it out. Do you think this is helpful? After expressing your opinions about it, try to think about how you could turn this thing into a plastic recycling business (since the project is non-profit).

    Let the creativity flow.

    Have a nice week guys,


    Hi guys,

    Thanks Sara for this new topic.

    I agree with Benedetta, I think technology can do great things. In this way I find it’s an effective and innovation solution to solve the issue of sea pollution. It won’t be able to solve it completely but I find it’s already an optimal start. Even in this case the guilty as always is human hand and it’s a more and more a frequent problem. In not many years in the sea there will be more plastic than fishes. Eating seafood and considering, for instance, fish could swallow micro particelles of plastic, these ones will arrive on our dishes.

    Finally it would be necessary to adopt more rigid laws and sanctions for companies which produce plastic materials or for those companies which throw away to river like a landfill (which then will be brought into the sea by the current). Industries have earned big money to damage the environment, it’s time to charge the bill. This is to discourage production and replace this harmful material with an innovative one. Another starting point to solve this problem. Engaging to defeat this will allow a new state of greeting for the ocean species, for us and for the environment. In our small way we could start changing the buying habits.

    Have a nice day.

    Eunice Curreri

    Hi everybody,

    I totally agree with you Stefano!

    There are a lot of systems, ideas and efforts from many people and organizations that I admire a lot, but trying to solve the problem at the source is surely a better solution in my opinion. We can clean all this mess but if we don’t severely change our attitude we will kill the World in which we live and all his amazing things.

    I consider the last measure of Europe a big achievement, and I really hope to see some progress, but there’s still a lot to do to fix the situation once for all. Also I expect that all this technology and innovation could help us, in order to really change something and makes the difference for our future, because I don’t want to imagine a day to the beach with my hypothetical kids surrounded by plastic and garbage as if it were normal! This idea really makes me sad and upset, like the fact that a lot of animals risk to disappear in just few years, and all because of human race and his indifference and negligence.

    By the way, I consider the project mentioned by Luca very interesting. I checked out and saw their website and it’s quite amazing to see how many things you can create with plastic products; to recycle is a very useful thing, and this non-profit project is a great example of it, especially because everyone can do something in his own way. Still, I consider that a better solution is to stop using plastic as material in everything and starting to replace it – wherever it’s possible – with something else, like others materials more innovative and less dangerous for the environment and for us. There are a lot of materials less known such as some polymer produced by bacterial fermentation of agricultural waste or food waste. It’s possible using also keratin and cellulose, seaweed, silk and wool, even the milk! And it’s all biodegradable faster.

    To answering at Luca’s question, It’s difficult to explain in a post, but personally to turning this project in a plastic recycling business maybe I would start creating an app that says to users where’s the plastic collection point closer to you, in order to allow an immediate collect of the plastic products to the workspaces by everybody. Furthermore the app could give the opportunity to directly choose the desired object (colour, shape, texture etc.) and the place to take it, so that would be easier for who sell and who buy (in addition to the “bazar” online). This is just an example and there’s more to say.

    What do you think guys? What are your ideas? Let me know!

    Good evening,


    Eunice Curreri

    Errata corrige: recycling is a very useful thing.

    Matilde Trevisan

    Good evening!

    Thanks @Sarac for the new topic! Currently about 300milion tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about 10% of this plastic is properly recycled and reused. The rest ends up as waste in landfills or as litter in our natural environment, where it leaches dangeours chemicals into the nearby soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike.Plastic pollution is not only impacting our waters and marin life, but also the food chain and our overall health.

    Regarding Luca’s question,I notice that one of sessions on Precious Plastic’s website is “Bazar”. On this I think that the company can create and lease “containers” for who wants work for this mission. In exchange, the productors have a preferential channel in the company to sell items. Obviously this is an initial ideaon which one could work.

    In this way we can see business keeping the goal fixed.

    What are your idea? Let me know!




    Good evening!

    Thank’s sara for the new topic. Today it’s very important to discuss about this because One of the multiple negative aspects it’s connected to global warming.

    When I was in Belgium i saw the supermarkets that bought the glass bottles and issued discounts too. I like the Eunice’s idea regarding the app, its innovative and It allows to keep in touch more consciously. Finally the European directive is taking Place  https://www.lswn.it/ambiente/plastica-usa-e-getta-sara-vietata-nel-territorio-ue-entro-il-2021/   its in italian.


    Stefano Garavaglia

    Good morning everyone,

    I found Precious Plastic Project amazing but also quite strange. The purpose to “work toward a solution to plastic pollution” is really (really) high aiming, and that’s great because only a dream is stronger than reality, and only aiming high makes a concrete change possible. The mission of the community is very powerful, and on my view the most effective strength point is the completely free availability of techniques and knowledges first, since an open source approach is today the key to a project’s success, but above all the real strength of this is that plastic wastes are nowadays everywhere for free. You can collect your raw materials for free whenever and wherever you like the most and give to that plastic materials a new value, a new life. Concluding, the transformation process can allow you to earn money thanks to the online platform “bazar” that helps “recyclers” to place their products on the market, since to recycle is sure a great thing, but not so many would do so if a cash out prospective is missing.

    The possibility to turn this non-profit project into a plastic recycling business is sure a great idea, but as I said the real strength of that is its open source nature. So, attempting to turn this project into a business, is on my view crucial not to “erase” this incredible feature, even if the simpliest way to gain money from this idea seems literally to give tutorials, knowledges and techniques only under payment, so giving effective access to the network only over the payment of a hypothetical entry fee.

    If I should point out a clever way to earn money from this project, I would think about another feature of it: the network. The project’s mission says that anyone can start and can cover the entire production chain, from raw materials collection to selling activities: that’s a little world thinking in my opinion (of course wonderful on this view of non-profit project). The evolution from this single being logic to a real productive segmentation of the entire production chain could be the key success factor of a hypothetical profit-oriented business. From whom collects plastics to whom sells items out, from whom shreds wastes to whom melts them down, the segregation of duties can allow a more efficient production chain with a consequent gain in terms of earnings and perceived quality of the re-new product. Then the implementation of scale economies obtained thanks to the segregation of duties leads me to suggest to focus on a specific activity (or group of activities), working on real input/output trade and single duty.

    An example of what’s above could be the following: a business (no.1) which collects raw plastic materials from wastes and sells them, or better, which also shreds those wastes into fine plastic crumbs, purchasable by (business no. 2) an entity that melts plastic to create simple and everyday objects, such as smartphone covers shown in the introductive video tape, maybe selling them on-line. To this extreme basic chain is possible to add everything you mind, an activity of raw covers painting, a segregation per-type of plastic collected, and why not, as mentioned, an IT tool such as an App or website that could in this case coordinate the trade along the production chain.

    This is only one of the possible ideas to take money advantage from the project, hope you could agree. Have a nice day,


    Luca Lostumbo

    Hey guys! How are you?

    I think wasteshark is a nice technological innovation to fight one of the most serious problems nowadays: plastic pollution. Once again it is man who has created this problem and it is our task to try to remedy it.

    About Precious Plastic, I find the project incredibly useful for society. It is right that someone gives weight to this problem and offers a free service to raise awareness and improve the knowledge of this topic.

    To create a business I think that the service should be offered for a fee, this would bring a minor approach to the project (because not everyone wants to join a payment) but more motivation because who really wants to join will be totally interested in the project.

    Furthermore, who offers sustainable projects to the community could have an economic return. Not only that, the creation of a business could bring companies operating in the sector to cooperate with the project. Cooperation could lead to a real production chain, where the idea made available can be taken into consideration by companies that could improve their activity. This system would lead the production chain towards an improvement in output as it was processed by who have adequate production facilities for the realization.

    Wait for another ideas and topics!

    Have a nice day!



    Hi everybody, how are you?

    Sorry for my absence, but I was in Brussels and I had problems with access to the forum but now I am happy to participate again in the interesting discussions you have proposed.

    I want to thank Sara and Luca for the two new topics and assuming that recycling plastic, like any other material (steel, iron, glass), is essential not to pollute our beloved Earth, a machine that allows you to recycle plastic directly at home is a real revolution that allows anyone to do a good deed to save the planet.

    In Italy, the Law of 27 December 2017, n. 205, suggests the economic incentives in the form of tax credit for companies, to the extent of 50% of the expenses incurred for the purchase of products and furnishings intended to enrich the public and private heritage, produced starting from “plasmix”, a mixture of heterogeneous plastics included in post-consumer packaging and not recovered as single polymers.

    Plastic derives directly from oil, of which it retains good combustion capacity. It is therefore not absurd to imagine an energy recovery solution (lie in waste-to-energy plants) for those plastics that are not currently recyclable and that would otherwise end up in landfills. That said, the truly sustainable future is not combustion, but true recycling and the valorisation of the product obtained.

    The solution, as has often happened in history, seems to be in chemistry.

    However, chemical recycling has come back to the present day thanks to new process technologies, but above all also to the possibility offered by the so-called feedstock recycling. This process is not a real depolymerization, in the sense that the starting monomers are not obtained, but some intermediate compounds are obtained that can be used as fuels or raw materials for other chemical processes.

    As for making it become a type of business, as Stefano said, the network is the starting point. But I also find the business proposal on recycling in general of plastic, and not just of Re Green, very interesting.

    “The ReGreen project” starts from the concept of plastic recycling, of domestic use (PET, HDPE) and aluminum, recognizing the citizen of points (virtual money) in the form of discounts / shopping vouchers, that can be spent in a shopping circuit subsidiaries present in the municipal territory. ”

    The idea stems from the desire to recover and recycle plastic that is largely lost between landfills and incinerators.

    I leave here the link of this interesting company.


    Let me know your opinions guys, I leave you with an other, I think, very interesting opportunity as a business in this “Green era” in which we are entering nowadays.

    It is about photovoltaic recycling. I’ve found that very interesting.

    Riciclo fotovoltaico, un business potenziale da 15 miliardi di dollari



    <span class=”handle-sign”> I everybody how are you?</span>

    <span class=”handle-sign”> Thank’s  @</span>sarac for a new topic, this social item rapresenting the connection from private idea to help the word.

    I think everybody can help with a little action, for example  4ocean (https://4ocean.com/) is a association for cleaning the ocean, I appreciate this parthernish becouse is so simple but the effect of planet is enormous and you’re working without the innovative technology or something like that, but use only collaboration and social behaviour


    Good evening!
    How are you?

    Thank you @sarac for this interesting topic! I think that is a genious idea! A robot that eats plastic is the perfect combination of technology and environmental protection!
    The problem of plastic is very serious, the environment defaced, the animal species damaged, killed…absurd!
    To solve the pollution of the seas and the oceans would need thousands of those robots and I’m not sure that would be enough.

    It would be necessary for the each State to allocate funds for the cleansing of our ecosystem, this would improve the health of many marine species and not only, would make livable locations that now appear hopeless and would ensure a better condition of life.

    The main cause of pollution is the human action, it would be perfect if, it were aimed at protecting the environment!

    About ‘Precious Plastic’ I think that is really helpful (@lucabaldessarini), is a global community that allows to reach people in every corner of the world, uses a large number of  struments to diffuse its message, and is a good way to collaborate together to help our environment!
    I find your answer very interesting (@edoardoceffa) and I hope solutions to this problem can be found in many fields!


    See you soon!


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