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Event vendors

Events often cause a lot of waste. By restricting vendors from using plastic at your event, you can make a huge impact.  

What you can do

Choose to refuse single-use plastic at your event.

How you can do it

Most events require vendors to fill out an application form. With a few tweaks, you can use yours to create a more sustainable event.

You can do this by setting out the requirements for reducing or recycling single-use plastics, for stall holders and food and drink vendors attending your event. This could be a simple document with names and details, or a competitive application process.

If possible, gather together a team of people to discuss what can and can’t be removed from your event. You can also work together to identify the alternatives that will be required or provided by you as the organiser.

Many events start out small with their changes, thinking of one plastic waste item to swap out at the event. For example, if there’s a tap on-site, perhaps you don’t need vendors to sell water in plastic bottles.

Ensure an alternative is available. That could look like providing a water refill tap or station, reusable cups or bottles, or a washing stand to keep reusables in circulation. See our Reusables Card for more ideas.

Taking the next steps

To improve on your impact even further, think about the waste you’ll produce in each activity during your event. Ask yourself and your team, “what is the waste footprint if we do it this way?” The process can become fun and rewarding as you use your creativity in every step.

You may also want to consider stalls other than vendors. Many events have community groups come along too. Just be sure to ask these groups to choose to refuse single-use plastics.

To get you started, here’s a list of single-use plastic items to consider banning in your vendor application:

    • straws and stirrers
    • plastic cutlery
    • bottled water
    • plastic plates, bowls, cups, wine and champagne glasses
    • cling wrap
    • zip lock bags
    • plastic takeaway containers
    • mini condiments such as sauce and butter
    • bags (including plastic bin bags)
    • styrofoam and polystyrene
    • balloons
    • glitter

You may also want to include a rule that vendors can only sell pre approved items, and not give away freebies (which contribute to further waste).

The Impact

  • Requiring vendors to avoid single-use plastic can result in huge reductions in the amount of waste produced at an event. This can save resources and reduce pressure on waste recycling systems.
  • Reducing plastic can save time and money cleaning up litter at the end of an event.
  • Many people find it a fun exercise to create or be part of a single-use plastic free event. It allows organisers and event participants to discover new alternatives to single-use plastics and live out their values.

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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