We have committed to phase out single-use plastic by 2025
If we continue at the current rate, by 2025 the ratio of fish to plastic in our oceans will be three-to-one; one kilogram of plastic for every three kilograms of fish.
We all interact with the sea to one extent or other, be it through holidays at the beach, eating fish, or perhaps our jobs. Thanks to the work of campaigners and the attention of the mainstream media, our awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans – and its impact on both its inhabitants and humans – has reached an all-time high. With this, our understanding of the undeniably stark consequences of inaction have been made very clear: We are essentially ingesting our own plastic waste and putting hundreds of species at risk. The time to act is overdue.
The Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre is located on an already environmentally-conscious campus, which aims to be as close to zero to landfill as is possible in the current waste climate. But nowhere near as much plastic is recycled as it should be, so reduction and then elimination is the only serious way forward.
We are very grateful to the MIA (Meetings Industry Association, UK) for launching this initiative, inspiring us and many other sector colleagues to act now to stop contributing to this ecological disaster.
As part of this UK-wide MIA initiative, we have pledged to eliminate singe-use plastic from the Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre by 2025.
The #20PercentLess pledge requires those who sign up to:
- Remove, in the first year, plastic bottles, plastic pens, plastic stirrers, plastic cups and glasses and pledge to remove plastic cutlery from your business
- Focus on elimination, reduction and re-use rather than simply substituting single-use plastic items such as those made of bioplastic
- Be innovative and open-minded to alternative solutions but consider the full life-cycle of a product, including its disposal before deploying it, to ensure any alternatives are sustainable and do not create unintended negative effects
- Not give away any promotional items made of single-use plastic
- Influence your supply chain
- Influence and educate your internal teams and customers to not use single-use plastic products within your business
The first step is very much in progress. We have already started work on installing water coolers in the corridors of our accommodation blocks, which guests will use to fill glass bottles as they please. This will reduce to zero the current 17,000 plastic bottles a year supplied for guests in the 134 bedrooms.
If you are reading this from another meetings venue, and you haven’t done so already, why not sign the pledge too?
It is necessary for as many UK venues, hotels, caterers and suppliers in the business meetings and events industry as possible to commit to this change in mindset and take responsibility for our damage to the planet and its occupants. As a collective we can influence supply chains and make the most meaningful contribution to the urgent task of beginning to redress the balance. Let the work begin in earnest!