You may wonder what a typical day looks like for an organisation fighting plastic in the music industry. Celebrating new eco-rider signups, jumping on calls to talk all things plastic-free and connecting with conscious collaborators are definite highlights, but that’s just a tiny part of what we do here at Bye Bye Plastic.
Plastic-free transitions are an integral part of cleaning up the music events industry - but how do we bring you in on the story with us? A lot of the work we do as an organisation happens behind the scenes - but sharing our impact reports is one way we can report on our progress. Today we’re rewinding to May to talk about our collaboration with blockchain platform Avalanche…and the strides made at the 2023 Summit to future-proof the crypto events revolution.
Did someone say statistics?
If you read Bye Bye Plastic’s 2022 impact report, you’ll already be aware that our work isn’t complete without reporting those shiny numbers holding us accountable for plastic-free progress. Numbers mean transparency, which is exactly what we need to get all sides (from production teams and site producers to architects and DJs) on board to create a plastic-free music industry.
Back in May, we took the plastic-free mission to Barcelona’s Poble Espanyol, again! Supporting Avalanche and its 6100 attendees over the 3-day Summit, we focused on 5 key action areas to mobilise the event’s plastic-free transition:
1. 100% Reusable Drinkware
Better communication prior to (and during) the event meant that guests’ adoption of sustainability practices soared. Combined with the water fountains and reusable bottles provided for staff during build-up and dismantling, this helped us save 330 kg worth of plastic (woop!). That’s equivalent to 2.77 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, or in food terms: the footprint of 1530 beef burgers.
2. Improved waste sorting and Cup collection rate
Improved BYOC (bring your own cup) communication and better waste signage meant more people were disposing of cups in the dedicated bins. Armed with this knowledge, we’re happy to report that retention rates for cups were outstanding: 96% for regular drinking cups and 76% for coffee cups.
3. 100% non-packaged water
The aim was to dispense no water in single-use packaging. And with a little help from some magical water fountains, we did it! True to Bye Bye Plastic’s zero plastic mission, single-use plastic water bottles were nowhere to be seen.
4. Plastic-free serveware
Lunch served on plastic? We wouldn’t dream of it. All food at the event was served in compostable packaging.
5. Food composting and food optimisation
Despite efforts to lessen the event’s footprint with a 50% vegetarian food offering, we found that Avalanche’s official caterer wasn’t well equipped for composting. While Poble Espanyol’s caterering provider (and the city of Barcelona in general) remains in the midst of ramping up its composting offer, we still managed to salvage 172 kg of food leftovers. That’s 254 kg worth of carbon emissions if the food was sent to landfill! Keeping food out of landfill also prevents methane release (the effects of which are 4x more potent than CO2).
These 5 focus areas are just the beginning. Ensuring that Bye Bye Plastic can work long-term with Ava Labs on sustainably produced merch; ethical sponsors; partner freebies; ticketing and badges are all part of the greater plastic-free puzzle.
We’ve mentioned before that air travel is a big elephant in the room in the music industry, and as an organisation that’s the next thing to address. Working with green travel companies to optimise routes and pairing with legitimate carbon capture programmes is a vital part of lessening our impact as an industry.
May wasn’t the first time we’ve teamed up with Avalanche: today, we can proudly count that across 3 events (Summit I in March of ‘22, Avalanche House in July of 22 and Summit II last May), we’ve put together our all-time avoided plastic footprint: equalling the production of 2785 beef burgers! And with that, we’ve saved a cool 756kg of plastic. Let’s get it!
See you in Istanbul on November 14th, 2023 for another Avalanche House for the records!