The festival summer is fast approaching. After two years of restrictions, everyone is itching to get together again. But where people gather together and they eat and drink, waste is produced. So a number of measures have been put in place to limit the impact of festivals and events on the environment. Waste management is part of this. Fost Plus supports event organisers via private operators and intermunicipal organisations so that they can deal with their (packaging) waste flows properly.
Since the start of this year, the Flemish regulation on the sustainable management of material cycles and waste (VlaReMA) has banned the serving of drinks and prepared food in single-use containers, unless the event organiser arranges for at least 95% of the single-use packaging to be collected separately for recycling. This means that events can opt to use disposal cups or single-use packaging for example when there are no facilities to clean reusable recipients properly. In Wallonia, beverages may only be served in single-use plastic containers if these can be collected separately for recycling. When packaging is useful or necessary, Fost Plus provides a recycling solution. That applies at festivals as well.
Since the sorting message for plastic packaging was expanded, this makes even more sense. After all, single-use plastic cups can be thrown away as PMD, along with any plastic bottles or cans that are sold on site. In this way, we not only make sure that the packaging does not end up on the ground, but also that it can be recycled to produce secondary raw materials. After all, it’s not only at home that we sort so that waste can be recycled. Fost Plus has an ambitious goal to double the amount of PMD collected out of home between 2018 and 2023. Festivals and events do not usually generate the biggest volumes of PMD – among other things due to the use of reusable cups – but they do make a substantial contribution to raising awareness of out-of-home sorting.
2022 festival summer
For this summer, six festivals are already calling upon the expertise of Fost Plus. What can Fost Plus do for event organisers? Fost Plus talks to the organisation and the private waste operator in charge of disposing of the various waste flows. They decide what type of sorting infrastructure would be suitable, where and how the different flows come together and what communication is needed for festival visitors. For example, we can use beach flags to point the way to the nearest waste island and explain the sorting rules by means of instructive stickers on the rubbish bins, which are especially useful for visitors from other countries who are not familiar with our sorting rules. Do you need help for your event? Contact your intermunicipal organisation or private waste operator.
Practical example: Dour recycles 92% of plastic cups
In the summer of 2019, the Dour festival recycled more than 33 tonnes of packaging. These high recycling figures are the result of intensive cooperation between the event organisers and Fost Plus. Because not all plastics are the same, arrangements were made with all suppliers to use only polypropylene (PP) cups in order to ensure a uniform material flow. All incorrectly sorted waste was removed on site by means of a specific sorting line. These pure materials were then able to continue on their way through the recycling chain. Successfully, because 92% of the total volume on the festival site was recycled!
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