Can you use #20PercentLess?

As seen in Hospitality & Events North

Jane Longhurst, Chief Executive of The Meetings Industry Association (mia), urges the industry to cut its use of single-use plastic by signing up to the organisation’s #20PercentLess initiative.

In my November column for Hospitality & Events North I wrote about the mia’s plans to help our members and the wider industry reduce their use of single-use plastics.

Now, five months on, I’m returning to the subject with news about our work and a plea for you to join us on our plastic-reduction journey.

Last month we unveiled our #20PercentLess report, highlighting the plastics problem, outlining our plans and sharing ideas of how businesses and individuals in the hospitality and events industry can dramatically reduce their reliance on single-use plastics.

The report is part of our #20PercentLess initiative, which asks organisations to commit to eliminating single-use plastic by a minimum of 20% each year for the next five years.

We are all aware that single-use plastic is a problem we all need to tackle, and fast. The amount of plastic waste generated annually in the UK is estimated to be nearly five tons according to WRAP, with 75% of consumer plastic waste being sent to landfill.

According to Rachel Shairp, project officer at The Zoological Society of London, leader of #OneLess and supporter of the mia’s campaign, eight million tons of plastic are also entering the ocean each year, posing a major threat to ocean life and a risk to our food chain.

While many of us recognise that plastic is a problem, the demands of the hospitality and events sectors mean that often we don’t have the time, resources or knowledge at hand to be able to implement change.

Fortunately, while our #20PercentLess initiative asks you to pledge your commitment to reducing single-use plastic use by 20% over five years, it doesn’t require you to do it alone.

We have a wealth of tips and advice to share, plus numerous examples of best practice from plastic-reduction pioneers like Warren Campbell of 15Hatfields and Ivor Turner at the Lensbury to help get your started.

Single-use plastic waste is not someone else’s problem to clear up, it is yours too, which is why I urge you to visit the dedicated pages on the mia website and sign the #20PercentLess plastics pledge.

The website also lists tips and provides countless resources to help you on your way. And mia members can download the aforementioned #20PercentLess report from the membership portal. Together, we can do this.