From the recycling of used oil to soap. “Felici da Matti”, an environmentally friendly idea that creates employment in Calabria (IT).

In a former mechanical workshop, Bergolio and Bergolio eco3 are produced, respectively solid soap and liquid detergent, obtained thanks to the waste oil collected by citizens and restaurateurs. A winning idea that gives life to a circular economy chain in which members and disadvantaged people work.

The Social Cooperative Felici da Matti was born in 2003 in Roccella Jonica, Calabrian seaside village, on the initiative of six women and a priest. It operates the field of environmental and social performance, focusing on employment opportunities for disadvantaged people. Since 2013, the cooperative has already saved 50 tons of waste oil, reusing raw materials, reducing the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere and promoting the proper disposal of a waste that becomes highly pollutant if not recycled.

After-use oil, in fact, is not biodegradable, it is very polluting but easily recoverable: if treated, it can produce vegetable lubricants for agricultural machinery, biodiesel and glycerin for saponification. Recycling is one of the methods of conservation of natural resources, to avoid unnecessary waste of raw materials and energy.

On the one hand there the collection, on the other hand the placement of containers in the city, so, after undergoing treatment processes, the oil begins its new life flavored with organic essential oils of bergamot and lemon to maintain territorial identity and give imprint of their land.

The cooperative promotes the inclusion of disadvantaged people within the various production cycles of work activities, thus giving the opportunity to acquire dignity and autonomy to people who would otherwise be cut off from the world of work.

Ethics, solidarity, innovation, ecology are the principles that Felici da Matti carries forward creating an economy that puts people at the center.


Author: Francesca Politi (JUMP Team)

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