New plan to tackle waste at UK events

A NEW TARGET to ensure that no waste from the events sector ends up in landfill has been announced.



As part of the ”Zero waste events: a 2020 vision”, a new “roadmap” has been published to help the UK’s £36 billion events industry better manage its waste. Today, the just 15% of the waste from events is recycled, but by 2020 the plan is to have diverted all the sector’s waste from landfill.


The events industry is a complex sector comprising of thousands of operators of all shapes and sizes. It supports around 25,000 businesses and some half a million full time equivalent jobs. It has a significant impact on the economy, with a current value of £36 billion, which is projected to rise to £48 billion by 2020.


However, dealing with waste has not been a priority. While some of the sector has achieved as much as a 50% recycling rate for their events, most are averaging just 15%, with a large amount of waste going direct to landfill.


The “Events Industry Roadmap” has been developed by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) following work with the events industry as part of its work on the European Pathway to Zero Waste project (EPOW). The roadmap draws on lessons learned from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – the first ever zero waste to landfill Games – creating a series of steps that events and the industry can take to achieve sustainable events. WRAP CEO Liz Goodwin said the roadmap is a “simple vision”.


“The London 2012 Olympics showed just what could be achieved by a clear commitment. Making waste prevention part of an event’s plan can deliver significant savings for businesses large and small. It will benefit all, from local community activities right up to large-scale UK events like the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow.”


Resource management minister Lord de Mauley added: “An industry worth £36 billion can make significant savings by tackling waste and reducing the impact waste overheads have on the bottom line. The industry can use this roadmap to improve their business returns through simple, collective effort.”