What’s Going on Here?

A cafe in Southern Italy is in our good books this week after launching a ‘Recycling 4 Books’ initiative.

For the “price” of one empty plastic bottle and one aluminium can, anyone under the age of 14 years old gets a book in return. Awesome!

How Does the Initiative Work?

Michele Gentile, the founder of Ex Libris Cafe bookshop, aims to encourage children to read, while doing good for the environment. Molto buona, Michele!

What do we love about the initiative?… it gives tangible value to used cans and bottles. ANNNNNNNND it promotes positive core values for the bambini. 

The idea came to Michele while staring at a huge pile of metal waste left abandoned in a field. “It was worth at least €350 (£300)”, he said, “Enough to pay for a child’s book allowance for a year.” 

Feeling empowered, Michele linked up with a local school and organised a can collection. With the money he received (£400) from the recycling center, our man bought books for a whole class. He went on to let kids trade in their bottles and cans for a book in his bookshop.

Whose Responsibility Is It?

Back in the UK, a study by business consultants Britain Thinks investigated the public’s attitudes towards recycling.

84% want recycling collection costs covered by businesses. And more than half believe manufacturers and retailers should cover the lot.

Some think businesses creating cans and bottles should take more responsibility. Yet, Michele’s sterling effort showcases how a little creativity can go a long way.

Be Curious!

Would you trade in your empty can of Coke and bottle of OJ for the latest Frodo Potter or Harry Baggins adventure? We know we would!

In the words of our new favourite Italian: “Small ideas, can have a big impact. Imagine if every child in the world swaps a plastic bottle and a can for a book”

Keep your eyes and ears open, you may just stumble across the next big idea today!