The project dedicated to steel recycling meets the Italian International Education System. It starts with Italian high schools in Madrid and Bogotá.
The first international tour of Yes I Can began on 23 November 2021. This is a project promoted by the Ricrea Consortium in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. This year, for the first time, the initiative involves Italian schools abroad.
Yes I Can includes meetings with schools led by the journalist and documentary maker Luca Pagliari, an expert in environmental protection. Through a storytelling-based format, Pagliari gets students and teachers involved in a group discussion exploring various aspects of steel packaging recycling.
On 23 November Pagliari, together with Federico Fusari and Roccandrea Iascone (Director and Communications Manager of the Ricrea Consortium, respectively), met the students of the Liceo Fermi in Madrid and the Liceo Da Vinci in Bogotá on Zoom. More than 50 students from Madrid participated, along with Spanish language and culture teacher Beatriz Tejero. 350 students from Bogotá were connected, together with head teacher Marco Santopaolo.
In just these first two meetings, the international tour of Yes I Can has already made it possible to compare the practices of recycling and the circular economy from a global perspective. For example, students in Bogotá pointed out that although there is a regulatory framework and a collection system, what needs to be developed is a culture of recycling, working on educating citizens, ‘teaching people how to do things’.
‘There is no waste, there are resources’; ‘The little things, the behaviour of individuals, make the difference’; ‘The environment is everything that interacts with our bodies’ are some of the ideas which sparked off discussion. Students intervened with various questions, ranging from the proper way to dispose of used packaging to the most effective actions to reduce pollution in the next twenty years, including in less developed countries.
While it is true that it is not necessary to wash steel packaging before disposing of it, in order to reduce pollution from a long-term perspective, it would be necessary, as Fusari explained, for the entire steel industry to be based on renewable resources. There are currently large technology gaps around the world that need to be bridged to get there, but the entire industry, globally, is now focused on this challenge.
Among the short videos which prompted dialogue with the students was one from 1992 documenting Severn Cullis-Suzuki’s (then a very young Canadian activist with the Environmental Children’s Organization) participation in the United Nations conference on environment and development, in which he asked the participants to ensure that their actions reflected the intentions they had expressed verbally. Thirty years later, the environment is still a problem that concerns everyone’s present and future and, as Pagliari concluded, it is now up to the younger generations to perform the most important task.