When planning the packaging for your food stand, stick to the 3 r’s: reduce, re-use and recycle.
* Review your packaging – think about what is used.* Minimise double wrapping and double bagging of foods.
* Choose dispensers rather than single-use sachets for condiments, milk, sugar etc.
* Provide jugs of water and drink so festival goers can refill bottles.
For the second year running, Shambala Festival is running a ‘Bring a Bottle’ campaign. They’re asking attendees to bring a re-usable bottle, banning the sale of bottled water and providing re-usable cups at all the bars. Last year the campaign prevented over 10,000 bottles from being used, as well 100,000 cups from being used once and thrown away.
|1. Sustainable Festivals|
|2. Festival Traders|
|2.1 Reducing Food Waste|
|2.2 Recycling Packaging|
|3. Festival Organisers|
* Ask the festival organiser what materials can be recycled and try to procure packaging that can be recycled or composted. Typical waste streams include:
- Drink cans
- Plastic bottles, cups and containers
- Food packaging
* Check if there any materials you’re not allowed to bring on site. Some festival organisers don’t allow polystyrene, glass or plastic.
* If the festival is recycling food waste, check what compostable food packaging you can use. Note that some festivals ask you to purchase packaging from their own on-site wholesaler.
(i) Often compostable packaging waste can be collected together with food waste and sent to an in-vessel composting (IVC) or anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.
When food and packaging waste isn’t collected separately from general rubbish, it can end up in landfill sites. Here the food and packaging waste releases methane, a greenhouse gas, as it breaks down.
However, when sent to an IVC plant, food (and compostable packaging) waste breaks down into compost within 12 weeks – ready to be used on agricultural land.
And when sent to AD, food waste produces a bio-fertiliser (again to be used on the land) and also methane – which is captured and used to generate electricity, mains gas, heat, or transport fuel.
(i) ‘Compostable’ is more specific than ‘biodegradable’ because it sets a time frame. Lots of things will biodegrade if left long enough but something that’s 100% compostable will break down into compost within 12 weeks.
(i) To ensure your packaging is 100% compostable, check it has been independently certified as compostable – for example, it meets the industry compostability standard know as EN 13432.
* Enquire about the bins on site:
- What types of bins?
- What capacity?
- Where will they be located?
- Whose responsibility is it to put waste and recyclables into the bins?
* Ensure all your staﬀ know about your recycling plan. The festival organisers might also provide you with materials to help communicate the scheme. And why not select a ‘green champion’, a member of your team to encourage recycling and monitor contamination?
If you’re looking for compostable food packaging for an upcoming festival or event, check out our online shop!
We offer a mixture of recyclable and compostable packaging – for compostable packaging, just look out for the orange compostable symbol.
All our compostable products have been independently certified – and we even have a new compostable brand known as Sustain™.