Castaway® Guide to Waste Wise Events
Posted: 30 Apr 2019

Planning an event? Or simply looking to reduce your environmental impact? Here’s Castaway® five-step guide to running a successful plastic-free event.


Insist all market sallholders go home compostable, and help them understand why it matters.


  • Declare you’re going completely compostable or banning non-recyclable plastic items
  • Communicate with stallholders to make sure they understand why it’s important,
    and what will happen if they don
  • Link them up with a compostable packaging supplier or food service distributor


  • Enforce your rule by checking on arrival that stallholders are only using compostable packaging
  • Supply them with suitable bins or bags for separating waste back of house including food waste
  • During the event work closely with them to ensure they are separating waste effectively

Recruit and train volunteers_image

2) Recruit and train your volunteers

  • Recycling volunteers are key to maximising recycling rates
  • Before the event, run training sessions for the volunteers
  • Attach a venue or site map to your training material highlighting the location of bin stations.
  • These sessions should:
  • Engage the volunteers on recycling
  • Outline the zero waste ambitions of your event
  • Explain what compostable packaging is, and how it gets recycled
  • The volunteers should leave feeling confident in informing or directing the public to the right bin

Design your bin system and communicate it clearly.

Design your bin system and communicate it clearly.

  • It’s important that your bins are clearly labelled
  • Create or use signage that use both text and images
  • Fell free to use any configuration of bins. But make sure you communicate it clearly and ensure that each recycling station has one of each bin

On the day, use your volunteers to police the bins.

On the day, use your volunteers to monitor the bins.

  • Position them at each recycling station
  • Use them to direct the public to the right bin
  • Make sure you nominate litter pickers so anything that goes in the wrong bin (or outside any bin) can be moved to the correct bin
  • The key is to reduce the level of contamination within waste streams, and increase recycling rates as much as possible!

Measure the success of your event – discuss, compare, and evaluate!

Measure the success of your event – discuss, compare, and evaluate!

  • Gather feedback from everyone who interacted with your waste system – key event organisers, volunteers, stallholders, etc.
  • While it’s fresh in your mind, document what went well and what could have been improved – this can be used to inform your next event
  • Obtain waste data from your contractor – how close to zero waste did you get?
  • Share your experiences with others to be part of the events industry’s journey to zero waste