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WRAP sets Olympics waste standard for future events

WRAP has launched a roadmap document challenging the UK events industry to send no waste to landfill by 2020 and taking inspiration from the example set by the London Organising Committee of the Olympics and Paralympics (LOCOG).

Currently, the average recycling rate in the events industry is 15% with a large amount of waste ending up in landfill, but some of the best operators recycle half of the waste arising from their events. LOCOG achieved 100% diversion of operational waste from landfill.

The ‘Zero waste events: a 2020 vision’ roadmap has been developed by WRAP with input from the events industry, and is part of its work on the European Pathway to Zero Waste project.

The roadmap builds on insights from LOCOG. For example, each spectator will generate an average of almost 1kg of waste – the more that goes to landfill the more expensive it will be as a result of landfill tax.

The document also calls for those working in the events sector to work in partnership across the supply chain to reduce waste, and offers steps to achieving zero waste to landfill.

Lord de Mauley, resource management minister, said: “An industry worth £36bn can make significant savings by tackling waste and reducing the impact waste overheads have on the bottom line. The industry can use this roadmap to improve their business returns through simple, collective effort.”

Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP said: “The London 2012 Olympics showed just what could be achieved by a clear commitment, by trying to prevent waste and manage it sustainably.”

“Making waste prevention part of an event’s plan can deliver significant savings for businesses large and small. It will benefit all, from local community activities right up to large scale UK events like the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow.”

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