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Tackling the Plastic Waste Crisis at Large Venues and Events

concert crowd

As you know, concerts, sports events, and festivals generate massive amounts of waste, especially from disposable plastic cups, which are largely non-recyclable and harmful to the environment. Traditional plastic cups made from toxic polystyrene take decades to decompose, releasing harmful chemicals and microplastics into our ecosystems.

Managing this waste is a huge challenge, but there’s hope with innovative solutions like our certified compostable cups. Made from 100% biobased PHBH (part of the PHA family), our cups are compostable, high-heat tolerant, and toxin-free.

Our cups simplify waste management at venues by allowing the entire contents of waste bins to be composted. Even if commercial composting isn’t available, these cups naturally degrade in landfills without leaching or damaging the earth.

Venues reduce their eco footprint and simplify their waste management processes – just by adopting compostable cup. Attendees do not even have to change their habits.

Read more on our focus on plastic cup reduction and how you can support sustainable practices at large events, read the full article here: https://gettingecological.com/tech-startups/tackling-the-plastic-waste-crisis-at-large-venues-and-events/.

Getting Ecological

by Lara Dolden
Published on Monday, June 10, 2024

In recent years, the issue of plastic waste has become increasingly pressing, particularly at large venues and events. Concerts, university campus gatherings, sports events, and festivals attract hundreds––sometimes thousands––of attendees. While these events offer a space for communities to come together and celebrate, they also typically generate enormous amounts of waste.

A significant portion of this waste consists of disposable dishware, particularly plastic cups. The detrimental impact of these items on our planet is huge.

The Inconvenient Truth About Single-Use Plastics

One of the most ubiquitous items found at large events is the plastic cup. Estimates suggest that in the U.S., only about 5% of petroleum-based plastic is successfully recycled after use. The remainder ends up in landfills or incinerators, contributing to environmental degradation.

Traditional plastic cups are particularly problematic.

Polystyrene, a commonly used material for plastic party cups, is not only non-recyclable but also toxic, derived from petroleum. When disposed of, these plastics take decades to decompose, leaching harmful chemicals and microplastics into the soil and water, posing risks to our ecosystems and human health.

The Challenge of Waste Management

Managing waste at large events is a herculean task. Despite efforts to encourage recycling, the reality is that disposable dishware contaminated with food and drink often bypasses recycling processes. This contamination complicates sorting and reduces the recyclability of the materials. Consequently, much of this waste is directed to landfills, where it contributes to the growing plastic pollution crisis.

A Glimpse of Hope: Better for All Cups

While the plastic waste problem at large venues and events is daunting, innovative solutions are emerging. One such solution is offered by Better for All, a company focused on creating certified home compostable cups made from PHBH, a type of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) that is certified home compostable. These cups can be composted on-site at zero-waste large capacity venues, small events, and outdoor festivals, or taken home for composting.

Better for All cups are designed to address the issue of disposable dishware not being recycled after use. Unlike petroleum-based plastic cups, these compostable cups are made from 100% biobased material produced through fermentation. They are high-heat tolerant, dishwasher-safe, and free from additives and harmful chemicals. This makes them an ideal choice for venues seeking to reduce their ecological footprint, like Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival.

Prioritizing the use of biodegradable materials simplifies waste management for the venue, as the entire contents of the bin can be sent to local composting facilities. If commercial composting facilities are unavailable, PHBH will naturally degrade in landfills.

The problem of plastic waste at large venues and events is significant, but not insurmountable. By adopting innovative solutions like smart compostable cups, venues can take a substantial step towards sustainability without asking people to change their habits. These efforts represent meaningful progress in the fight against plastic pollution, demonstrating that with the right approach, it is possible to enjoy large gatherings and celebrate with loved ones without leaving a trace.

Getting Ecological featuring Better for All