Delving deeper into sustainability

Part 3: Keep hydrated – reduce plastic waste

In our article about carpets, it already became clear that the event industry, like most industries, should focus heavily on waste management, in order to reduce filling up landfill sites with perfectly re-useable materials. At ACS we are not only looking at what we can do on a corporate level to reduce waste, but also on an individual level.

When building large temporary conference rooms, it involves a lot of extremely hard-working people. Men and women who work long days to build the beautiful and comfortable halls visitors will eventually get to enjoy. During this hard work it is important that everyone stays hydrated. Traditionally, this is done by using a lot of single-use plastic bottles. It is hard to estimate exactly how many are used because of a large number of variables. However, anyone who has ever witnessed the building-up phase of a congress has probably noticed the large piles of plastic bottles ending up in the trash after a single-use. What is known is that every year up to 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean where it will never be fully broken down. It will deteriorate into smaller pieces, but will then enter into the food chain. These numbers are staggering to say the least. Single-use water bottles are a part of this enormous mountain of waste. This is especially unfortunate, considering that tap water in Europe is of extraordinary high-quality and therefore branded bottled water does not need to be consumed.

This is exactly the philosophy of the bottle company Dopper. According to their research, every minute 1 million single-use plastic bottles are sold worldwide! Dopper is fighting this accumulating problem by  challenging any excuse to keep buying these highly polluting single-use plastic bottles. According to estimates every Dopper bottle prevents 40 single-use plastic bottles a year from entering our ocean. The Dopper bottles are certified as fully circular, so no new plastic has  been used in their production. They are actively investing in education programs that make people aware of the magnitude of the problem. Dopper also invests in clean tap water projects in Nepal. Lastly, Dopper is a certified B Corp, which is one of the highest standards a company can have in terms of doing ethical business.

In order to stimulate using only reusable bottles, ACS has recently purchased a Dopper bottle for all of its employees. This is just one of the many ways ACS contributes to the many complex solutions that shifting our society to a more sustainable place requires.