Waste free tips for events
Territorians and visitors to the NT love getting out to the numerous markets, festivals and other events the Territory has to offer. But have you ever stopped to consider how much waste is generated at these events and where that waste ends up?
We’ve included some of our top tips here to help event organisers reduce the amount of waste generated, but if you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide on minimising waste for events, we recommend those developed by NSW EPA and ZeroWaste SA (now Green Industries SA).
WasteFreeNT conducted an audit of Parap Markets one Saturday morning during the Wet Season in 2018 and we discovered over a tonne of waste was produced, with more than half of this being organic waste. Markets such as this, which include stalls selling fresh produce, will typically have a much greater percentage of organic waste compared to other events and this needs to be taken into consideration when developing your waste disposal and minimisation strategy.
Locals We Love
Their Sustainability Principles include great ideas on reducing your local market eco-footprint.
Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival 2018 diverted 40% of waste from landfill.
4 easy tips to reduce waste at markets
Biodegradable and compostable are not the same thing!
Dive into Ceres Organics article - it's an eye opener!
Note that some items labelled as compostable may only biodegrade in the high temperatures of industrial composters. As there are currently no industrial composting facilities in the NT (we’re working on it!), we recommend using packaging that is labelled as suitable for Home Composting. The Australian Standard for home compostable plastics is AS 5810-2010, while standards for industrial compostable plastics (which usually don’t break down in home composting conditions) include AS 4736-2006 (Australia), EN 13432 (Europe/UK) and ASTM d6400 (USA).
As an event organiser, it is essential to develop a waste management plan (or operate within an existing plan provided by your venue owner) to deal with the disposal of any waste produced. For a waste-wise event, your waste management plan will need to focus on strategies to minimise waste in the first place and then to maximise the redirection of waste from landfill to compost or recycling.
But before you dive into your waste management plan, you need to have a good idea of the kind of waste your event is likely to produce. There are two ways of doing this:
Do you have a waste audit from your previous event? If not, plan to do one (WasteFreeNT can help with this, just ask us!). An audit will give you a baseline, which can help you see how much you improve over time.
Consider what your problem areas might be based on what your stallholders will be selling (don’t forget back of house!).