With more than eight million tonnes of plastic being thrown away each year, ExCeL London has launched an initiative to tackle the issue of single-use plastic and reduce waste. Its new ‘No Plastic’ campaign has been announced by CEO Jeremy Rees, who said: “Waste from single-use plastic is a critical issue for our industry. We need to take a position on this to significantly reduce the amount of waste that we generate.”
With a remit to cater for over 4m visitors every year, ExCeL has initially focused on the role of the 27 retailers along the venue’s central boulevard. All plastic straws have been removed from point of sale and suppliers have committed to offering discounts to customers who have a reusable coffee cup.
To reduce the disposal of hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles, permanent water fountains have been installed to provide free chilled water to visitors, exhibitors and organisers who bring a reusable container.
As contaminated waste can often end up in landfill, a new bin infrastructure with clearer waste streams is being installed, enabling visitors to sort their waste more easily.
“Plastic is part of everyday life,” Rees added, “so removing it completely is complicated and will take time. However, we must start somewhere. ExCeL is absolutely committed to taking steps to reduce the amount of plastic in our venue and working with our customers to deliver more sustainable events. We hope that this campaign encourages everyone to think about the difference we can all make to help tackle this global issue.”