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Waste Reduction and Recycling Tips

In order to achieve the objective of waste reduction and recycling, and to alleviate the burden on landfills, event organisers should, wherever possible, adhere to the principles of reduction, reuse and recycling in the planning of various exhibitions and publicity campaigns, so as to reduce the impact on the environment.

Waste Reduction Checklist

Event organisers can make use of the waste reduction checklist (Chinese version only) to assist them in the planning of waste reduction measures, so as to enhance the efficiency of waste management.

More waste reduction measures for events

Below are some detailed proposed measures on waste reduction and recycling which serve as references for event organisers.

On waste management:

  • Develop policies/environmental management systems/guidelines/code of practice on waste management.
  • Record and review the weights and types of waste and recyclables by conducting waste assessment.
  • Set recycling targets, publicise them, and monitor the performance.
  • Include additional terms and conditions related to waste management in the contracts (e.g. require contractors/exhibitors/vendors to reduce generation of waste and properly dispose of used items; and require cleansing contractors/exhibitors/vendors to collect recyclables and assist in the sorting out of recyclable materials from waste).
  • Encourage/require stakeholders to reduce waste and to recycle.

On venue set-up:

  • Purchase or rent simple stalls that can be dismantled and assembled for reuse to reduce wastage.
  • Specify in advance with contractors who set up the stalls that they should undertake the dismantling work, and will recycle and reuse the building materials (bamboo scaffolds, planks, metal sheets, etc.).
  • Avoid using materials/products that cannot be reused. Preferences should be given to frames, marquees, banners, decorations, name cards, souvenirs, etc. that can be reused for other events.
  • Use reusable packing cases instead of cartons or bubble wraps for delivering materials.
  • Avoid or reduce using excessive packaging materials and decorations.
  • Upcycle waste materials for decorations.
  • Store dismantled decorations properly for reuse.

On meal arrangements:

  • Arrange meal portions appropriately.
  • Avoid or reduce using one-off and non-reusable containers and cutlery. Alternatives include providing water refilling stations at the venue, encouraging participants to bring their own beverages, offering discounts for those who bring their own containers, etc.
  • Manage leftovers properly (e.g. collect food waste, recycle used cooking oils and donate surplus edible food to food banks/charities).

On publicity materials:

  • Make use of electronic systems (tools such as the Internet and email) to issue invitation letters, notices, certificates, certificates of commendation, newsletters, etc. to reduce the needs for printing.
  • Provide an online platform for counting the participants before the event so as to estimate accurately the materials to be distributed.
  • Promote or introduce product(s) via the electronic media; and produce publicity materials and guidebooks in the form of CD-ROM/memory card rather than printed versions.
  • If distribution of printed materials and on-site display of posters and banners are necessary, print them according to the actual needs so as to avoid excessive printing.
  • Choose durable materials and flexible designs for production of posters, banners, signage and stalls and avoid marking the names and dates of events on such items so that they can be reused on other occasions.
  • Avoid providing impractical souvenirs and one-off publicity materials that cannot be reused.
  • Reduce the use of non-recyclable publicity materials.
  • Use products with recycled content, such as recycled paper, rubber mats, souvenirs made of recycled materials, etc.
  • Avoid or reduce using excessive packing materials and decorations.

On publicity and education:

  • Provide guidance to staff and volunteers on source separation of waste, such as teaching them how to distinguish recyclables from non-recyclables.
  • Make announcements near the end of the event to remind staff/vendors/exhibitors to properly sort recyclable materials as soon as possible and put them into the on-site recycling facilities.
  • Inform the public in advance about the recycling facilities provided at the venue through the mass media
  • Remind event participants through regular announcements, clear signs or other publicity methods to carry out clean and proper recycling and to avoid putting unclean materials (e.g. food waste, greasy utensils or unfinished beverages) into the waste separation bins, so as not to contaminate the recyclable items in the bins.
  • Monitor the amount of materials distributed regularly to avoid hoarding excessive surplus items.

On procurement:

  • Purchase reusable/durable materials (preferences should be given to frames and marquees, banners, interlocking carpet tiles, decorations, name cards, plastic pallets, eco-friendly straps, rechargeable battery packs, etc., that can be reused for other events).
  • Purchase products that can be easily recycled/are degradable.
  • Purchase products with recycled content (e.g. recycled paper, rubber mats, souvenirs made of recycled materials, etc.).
  • Minimise or eliminate unnecessary packaging, particularly avoid individual product packaging for bulk purchases.
  • Choose a single material instead of multi-layer composite materials for the production of publicity items. For example, use publicity items, booth decorations, etc. that were made of paper, metal, plastic or other recyclable materials. Avoid using foam boards, expanded polystyrene boards and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  • Avoid purchasing materials for one-off distribution only (e.g. pong bong sticks, flags, paper cups, etc.).
  • Avoid purchasing extra equipment (e.g. furniture) or materials (e.g. tableware, water refilling facilities, etc.) for a single event and consider whether it is possible to rent instead.

On cleaning and recycling:

  • Add eye-catching features/decorations to recycling bins/facilities, which are set up in conspicuous and convenient locations.
  • Provide more recycling bins in locations with higher visitor flow.
  • Set up recycling bins for aluminum cans and plastic bottles at places where the beverages are sold.
  • Delineate and specify designated areas (central collection points for recyclables or supplementary collection points) by marking on the ground, fencing, partitioning, etc. for collecting and storing different types of recyclables.
  • Set up an area for accommodating large quantities of recyclables or recycling facilities (e.g. in open space near “temporary unloading area”).
  • Remind vendors upon their entry registration to implement waste reduction measures and make good use of recycling facilities (e.g. by explaining to them the locations and usage of recycling facilities)
  • Assign green ambassadors to station at the recycling facilities to remind event participants to actively participate in clean and proper recycling.
  • Arrange manpower to conduct regular inspections during busy hours to check if there is any overfilled recycling bin; and increase the frequency of emptying recycling bins.
  • Provide transparent garbage bags for collecting recyclables for easy identification.
  • Arrange for recyclers to collect separated waste for recycling.

For details of the programmes on waste reduction and recycling in festive occasions, please refer to the following link:

Waste Reduction Tips & Experience Sharing for Lunar New Year Fairs(Chinese version only)

 

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