The MIA’s latest initiative aims to banish plastic from the events industry

Find out more about the #20PercentLess campaign

Updated on 28 March 2019 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

The MIA’s latest initiative aims to banish plastic from the events industry

In the last few years, shows like the BBC’s Blue Planet have resulted in lots of debate surrounding the excessive amount of single-use plastic that is used by the human population. These arguments have rightfully found their way into the events industry, posing the question to both venues and event planners, as to what we can all do to limit our use of plastic.

The MIA (Meetings Industry Association) is leading the charge with its #20PercentLess campaign. The organisation has written up a pledge, which aims to facilitate and support the elimination of single-use plastics from the meetings and events industry by 2025.

Several organisations have committed to the pledge, including leading sustainable events venue 15Hatfields. The South Bank venue has made a commitment to become 100% free of single-use plastic by the end of this year.

As well as raising awareness of this pressing issue through its commitment to the #20PercentLess campaign, 15Hatfields is also making changes in its own operation. This includes removing one type of single-use plastic item from its product inventory each month, including the likes of plastic sugar bags, food wrapping, biscuit packaging, bin bag liners and zip lock bags.

READ MORE: How the events industry is tackling its plastic problem

At SquareMeal, we champion anyone in the events industry who is looking to tackle this issue, and we’ve sought out ways that we can help too – at Venues + Events Live 2018, we ditched plastic water bottles in favour of canned water and encouraged guests to bring their own reusable bottles to fill up at our water stations.

15Hatfields hopes to set an example to those in the events industry, with other venues and event planners hopefully following its lead, and they've even launched a stellar competition to help spread the word (details at the bottom of this page). 

READ MORE: Is healthy eating the new landscape of conference food

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to tackle plastic in your own office, check out some of 15Hatfields top tips below:

  • Make a list of all products including single-use plastic currently used at your venue and question whether they are really needed
  • Consider alternatives to the products identified as essential
  • Research the non-plastic products which are out there and look closely at the costs. They might not be as high as you think
  • Regularly review and update your original list
  • Talk to your suppliers. Put pressure on them to supply alternatives to single-use plastics

To celebrate the launch of the #20PercentLess campaign, you could win a luxury London South Bank experience for two, courtesy of 15Hatfields. Click HERE to enter.