The surplus amount of waste produced during events is irritatingly getting under the skin of event planners and, them now, desperately looking for a long-term solution. Probably, they see this solution in the vent of Zero Waste Management.
Zero waste concept advocates the reduce usage of plastic products and maximise the utilisation of recyclable products. Some event organisers being strong supporters of Zero Waste Management, profoundly search for new ways to make events eco-friendlier.
So, here we suggest some best options for Zero Waste Management for events.
Probably, plastic straws would be the big contributor towards waste during events. According to one of the survey, more than 500 million plastic straws are used each day in the United States, just think what figure it would be for the rest of world. The only alternative is to use a biodegradable or edible straw. The edible straw made of cookies, pasta or sweet candies can be gulped when used.
Wending Machine with a reusable container
Using re-usable container instead of disposable plastic cups and trays could help to stop waste accumulation during events especially during wedding buffets. Addressing this issue, a new kind of wending system is developed by OZZI, which could be counter-effective for controlling waste in events. This new system replaces the disposable plastic containers with the reusable container/plates.
Waste Management Machine
Event organisers and caterers who regularly deal with a stack of waste should consider to in-house the waste management machine like IMC. Instead of waiting for pick-up trucks to collect garbage, they can use IMC. This machine helps to grind the food waste into fine de-compost particles; further, these particles are fed directly into the built-in dewatering system. The water is separated from the waste and what left is high-quality composite. The machine will not just assist in reducing the waste but also the post-event clean-up cost.
Biodegradable Algae Bottle or Pre-fill water bottles
Plastic takes up to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill, during events attendees produce tons of waste in the form of plastic bottles. To mitigate this issue, Iceland Academy of the Arts student “Ari Jónsson” invented a biodegradable water bottle made from algae. It is under research but holds a lot of potentials to solve the plastic bottle waste issue permanently.
The other option to reduce plastic bottle waste during events is to use Portable water stations. This water stations filter the tap-water at your events and also keeps track of how many plastic bottles you have saved. All you have to do is to carry an empty reusable water bottle at the event.
Recyclable Wall Skin
Most trade-show exhibitors décor their booth with plastic banners or synthetic wallpapers, eventually contributing to plastic waste. But “Pulp Art Surfaces” has developed an eco-friendly and 100% recyclable wall-skin for decorating booth space. It is made out of recycled newspaper, cardboard and wood chips. Beside organic, it is resistant to mold or fungus making it more durable. The surface is smooth and allows to craft any design, print or even paint on it. Unlike synthetic wall skin, the material is free of toxins and conform to ISO 14000 Standards.
Trade-show and exhibitions usually distribute their product brochure and flyers in a plastic bag. Not just trade-show but during live events audience carry their stuff in these bags. The alternative to these bags are Bio-Green Bags (Regeno), which is envision has the closest replacement of plastic bags so with same durability and strength. The bags will degrade in three months’ time and burn like paper and turn into ash.
Events and catering service have lots of products to transport, and most of them are covered with synthetic plastic covers. To this Polish student Roza Janusz designed “Scoby” a biological, fully edible recyclable packaging solution. However, at the moment the application is seen for covering plantation and for agricultural purpose but its use could be wide and can be used in event industry as well. It might use to cover edibles during events. There are other options as well like packaging prepared from mushroom, recently, the furniture giant "IKEA" has announced its plant to use the biodegradable mycelium “fungi packaging” or better mushroom packaging as part of its efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling.
eside plastic straws and trade-show packaging if something to be blamed for most waste during events would be a décor material. Décor material is usually made of plastic or metallic materials, if event organiser promotes using bio-degradable decors it will help reduce a lot of plastic stocks. Tassle garland made of tissue paper, biodegradable balloons, compostable ribbon, recyclable candle holder, etc. are good alternatives for plastic decor. Event decorators can also take décor in use that is re-usable.
Beside steps mentioned above, there are few precautionary steps you can instil in your event for Zero Waste Event.
Quick steps to Zero Waste Events
1) Keep separate bins for waste in events and labelled them as “Compost, Recycle and Landfills.”
2) Train staffs, bartenders, and volunteers to follow the best practice for the zero-waste event
3) Place posters and flyers in and around the event premises about your green event so that everyone knows you are trying to make it a Zero Waste event
4) Communication plays an essential role in reducing waste in events. Announce on a loudspeaker about your planning and arrangements for Zero Waste event
5) Try to follow the golden rule for minimising waste in events- Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
6) Try to eliminate waste from the source itself like frilly toothpicks, paper doilies, and inedible garnishes
7) Encourage attendees to bring reusable bottles or bio-degradable containers in the event
8) Use a re-usable décor
9) Stick the print of waste item that will be generated at your event on a proper disposal container
10) After Event-Analyse what worked and what didn’t for your zero-waste event. Try to configure and implement them in your next event.
Eco-friendly events might be a smaller step towards a greener planet, but more importantly, it is happening. Add your suggestions below to take your thoughts to event organisers on this who always want to make the event a blissful experience.
4) http://pulpartsurfaces.com/wall-skins/ (Recyclable Wall Skin)
5) http://www.regeno.in/ (Regeno bags)
6) https://www.fastcodesign.com/90172084/this-zero-waste-packaging-is-grown-from-kombucha (edible Packaging)
7) http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43801491 (costa coffee)
8) https://www.epromos.com/product/1718004/biodegradable-imprintable-latex-balloons.html (Bio-degradable décor)