With more than eight million tons of plastic being thrown away each year, single-use plastic is one of the world’s most talked about topics. ExCeL London is taking positive steps to reduce waste and is launching a “No Plastic” campaign to outline the venue’s commitment to this global issue.
“Waste from single-use plastic is a critical issue for our industry,” says Jeremy Rees, CEO of ExCeL London. “We need to take a position on this to significantly reduce the amount of waste that we generate.”
With a remit to cater for more than four million visitors every year, ExCeL has initially focused on the role of the 27 retailers along the venue’s central boulevard. All plastic straws have been removed from point of sale and suppliers have committed to offering discounts to customers who have a reusable coffee cup.
To reduce the disposal of hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles, permanent water fountains have been installed to provide free chilled water to visitors, exhibitors and organizers who bring a reusable container.
As contaminated waste can often end up in landfill, a new bin infrastructure with clearer waste streams is being installed, enabling visitors to sort their waste more easily which will reduce environmental impact, while allowing guests to make more sustainable choices.
Rees says, “Plastic is part of everyday life, so removing it completely is complicated and will take time. However, we must start somewhere. ExCeL is absolutely committed to taking steps to reduce the amount of plastic in our venue and working with our customers to deliver more sustainable events. We hope that this campaign encourages everyone to think about the difference we can all make to help tackle this global issue.”
ExCeL London opened in November 2000, in an area of huge regeneration in London’s historic Royal Docks. The venue hosts 300 events per year, welcoming four million visitors from every corner of the globe. Events hosted at ExCeL London generate £4.5bn in economic impact for London and support 37,600 jobs. Under the ownership of ADNEC, ExCeL London has seen significant investment in new facilities, including the opening of London’s International Convention Center (ICC) and onsite hotel developments. For more info, visit www.excel.london/no-plastic