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Reusables at events

You can easily cut down on the waste at your next event and promote more sustainable practices by offering reusable items.

What you can do

Choose to offer reusable items at your next event.

How you can do it

You can turn your next event into a plastic waste free one with a bit of planning and creativity. You may need a team of people who can help you out. It’s usually easier that way, plus you can share ideas and challenges and celebrate wins together.

Most plastic waste free events start by creating an inventory of the single-use items that participants are likely to use at the event. This could include plastic water bottles, plates, cups, and cutlery. Keep this list for future reference (and as a way to measure how far you’ve come!)

Many events start small, picking one single-use plastic item that can be swapped for reusables. Often, people find that water is a great place to start. You’ll need to consider both how people can access the water and what they can drink from.

You can hire water filtration stands, or find suppliers who provide large refillable bottles of water (a quick search online will help you locate options near you). Offering and washing cups, or selling reusable bottles, will provide a convenient solution at the event.

If the only solution is to bring your own reusable bottle or cup, then be sure to let everyone know before the event. Check out our Event Signage card for more on how to do this.

Taking the next steps

After you’ve successfully swapped out one item on your list, you can start working your way through the others and finding reusable alternatives. You might also want to consider a washing up station or mug library – check out our Keeping it Clean card to find out more.

More and more businesses will loan you cutlery, plates and cups for your event and then take them back and wash them at the end. This is a great way to go low-waste without much effort.

The Impact

  • Switching to reusable systems can be a great way to reduce single-use plastics at your next event. This reduces pressure on recycling systems and saves money on cleaning up afterwards.
  • Modelling sustainable behaviour can show others how easy it is to have an impact, and help to spread the message to ‘choose to refuse’.

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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