The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has collaborated closely with the staff and private providers to ensure a Plastic Free environment in the catering facilities that serve on an annual basis, up to 6,000 employees of Vienna-based Organizations and about 300,000 visitors including conference participants. Specifically, under its Reduce, Reuse and Recycle programme, non-bio-degradable items have been replaced by the following eco-friendly alternatives:
- Take-away cups, cutleries, straws and utensils are made of poly lactic acid (PLA), a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable biomass including fermented plant starch such as corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet.
- Take-away containers are made of sugarcane bagasse, a by-product of the sugar-case production that turns sugarcane refuse into into pulp and pressed.
- Packaging items are made from recycled and re-granulated materials.
- Take-away soup containers and bowls are made from Kraft paper, a natural, durable material.
- Coffee and tea stirrers are made from wood such as bamboo.
PLA items are biodegradable under industrial composting and are accepted by the Vienna Spittelau Waste Incineration Plant that processes around 250,000 tons of household waste every year to produce green heating and electricity. All the other biodegradable materials are processed in line with Vienna’s comprehensive waste management and recycling programmes.