Plastic – free events
How to organize a public event without plastic?
- STEP – firmly decide to organize an event or public event “plastic-free” and involve our colleagues, employees, and associates in most of the following steps.
- STEP 2 – clearly write down all the items we would use at the event for which single – use items are most often chosen (e.g., glasses, cutlery, bags, balloons, souvenirs and similar)
- STEP 3 – try to find reusable solutions in order not to just replace single-use plastic with other single – use items (e.g., plastic straws with paper ones)
- STEP 4 – organize how to store, transport and wash/maintain selected reusable items (plan ahead)
- STEP 5 – talk to your employees, colleagues and associates and actively engage them in the process. Ask them in advance how they see the changes we propose, whether they anticipate any problems and whether they have their own solution. Encourage them in the access to the guests and keep in mind that it is they who will be on the front line if the guest expresses dissatisfaction with the change. Teach them how to present change as part of our brand and encourage the guest to contribute to environmental protection in addition of enjoying our service.
- STEP 6 – clearly communicate our event as a “plastic-free event” in public. Invite our visitors to bring with them reusable bags or other items that we do not intend to include in the organization of our event. Put up signs urging our visitors to dispose waste responsibly and try to reduce waste generation while staying at the event.
Alternative solutions for single-use plastic items at public events:
The fact is that most (but not all!) guests do not require a straw for drinks. The easiest way would be to get straws out of our business. However, if we need some, we can use reusable steel straws (which can also be washed in the machine), reusable bamboo straws or similar material and single – use pasta straws (there are straws made of pasta just for this purpose). At the end, if none of the offered alternatives are available or there is an objective reason why we cannot use these alternatives, we can rethink about paper straws. Some of the reliable Croatian companies that supply such or similar products can be found here.
2. Bottles and cups
Plastic bottles can be very challenging to phase out, depending on the type of work we do. Many pre-packed drinks come in plastic bottles and currently there are not many alternatives. As for plastic cups, unfortunately they are everywhere around us. The best substitute for single – use plastic cups would be to encourage guests to bring their own cups or use a deposit system i.e., the visitor leaves on the bar a deposit of 10 HRK for a glass that he will use during the event, festival and at the end has the right to claim his deposit back by returning the glass. Through this, we reduce the large amount of waste generated at large social gatherings. There are some alternative solutions here.
At certain events, disposable cutlery is also used, most often composed of plastic plates, containers, spoons, forks, etc. To reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by using these items, easiest way would be to use metal cutlery that we can later easily wash, sterilize, and reuse. If such a solution is not available or for some other reason we cannot use it, then we can focus on some alternative solutions that we can find here.
The environmental impact of plastic bags is known so far to all of us. Plastic bags thicker than 15 μm are prohibited by the SUP Directive, while thinner ones remain available on the market. The most environmentally friendly solution for this type of product is our own linen bag. We should point out that paper bags are also available on the market as a substitute for plastic ones, however being environmentally responsible means using reusable materials.
5. Balloons and confetti
These very popular and visually appealing items cause great damage to the environment, especially marine environment. We advise to reduce their use and their release into the environment. We can always use alternative decorative items that we have made or are sourced from local suppliers. There are paper confetti, confetti made of dry leaves, paper lanterns instead of plastic balloons, decorative lighting and similar.
Think about giving environmentally friendly souvenirs or gifts to visitors at events. Let’s say paper bracelets as passes, local products for eating as gifts or wooden, glass, ceramic souvenirs. Let’s talk to our co-workers and partners in order of finding non-plastic solutions.
Reducing the use of plastics, especially single-use ones, is not only a matter of sacrifice, but is primarily a question of jointly creating a different relationship with the world in which we live and which we leave a legacy for future generations. If we base him on respect and recognize ourselves as his keeper, it will return to us multiple times. The answer we create allows our entire society transition to a circular economy without which there is no sustainable future.
Disposable plastics – all plastics that are produced with the intention of being disposable and discarded. It is commonly used for plastic packaging, bags, food packaging, plastic bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery.
Sustainable development – economic development that fully takes into account the impact of economic activity on the environment and is based on renewable sources of goods. The basic premise of sustainable development is: an increase in well-being is measured by an increase in the quality of life of the individual and the population as a whole, not by an increase in the amount of material goods or energy produced or consumed.