It’s Plastic Free July, and to celebrate this campaign to curb the use of disposable plastic, I have three tips to help you reduce the amount of plastic used at your next event.
1. Skip straws
Drinking straws seem like a small piece of waste, but these little bits of plastic add up. Small items of plastic waste can also easily escape the waste stream and end up as litter in our waterways. Instead of serving beverages with a plastic straw by default, have straws available by request only. Many guests won’t think twice about enjoying their drink sans straw.
2. Ditch disposables
Whenever possible, choose reusable items over disposable ones. This goes for cups, plates, cutlery, and any other items that may end up in the trash after a single use. Reusable items have a lower environmental impact than even recyclable items, because of the resources used and pollution generated by the production and recycling processes. Plan your budget to account for renting china, or choose a caterer who serves on washable dishes by default.
Disposable water bottles make up a large volume of plastic waste at many events. Instead of offering bottled water, set up water stations where guests can refill reusable cups or bottles.
3. Change your chotchkes
Take a look at the swag items you’ve given away at recent events. How many of them are mostly made of plastic? How long do you anticipate guests will hang on to these items? Some giveaway items have a long and useful shelf life, while others are simple novelties that will be discarded shortly after the event. Consider conducting a survey of your guests to learn what items they find truly useful and enjoyable. This will help you make sure your swag is a hit as well as eliminate plastic waste from items that don’t hit the mark. Also consider swag items that are made from renewable materials such as wood or paper.
With these simple steps you can take great strides toward reducing the amount of plastic used at your events.