An obvious way to reduce the amount of plastic bottles used at your event is to not sell or provide bottled water.
If you have water stand pipes (taps) available and the water is of good drinking quality, work out how you can give up the profit you may earn from selling bottled water and provide it for free.
Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right anyway!! It’s possible that the money you might lose on water sales profits may end up similar to the cleaning and waste removal costs of all those empty plastic bottles.
Without question – you should not be serving drinking water in single-use plastic bottles – or any kind of packaging actually if the tap water is good to drink. If it’s only the taste or added treatments that are a concern, put in water filter stations.
At indoor events this is pretty simple – offer water in jugs and bottles on tables. Something to consider, in water-scarce regions, don’t just put water out. Have people go to a table with water, or have waiters pour the water into guest’s glasses.
At outdoor events, you can make a bit of a point about water refill stations. There are loads of wonderful options out there. See the gallery below.
- No Packaged Bottled Water: Ban pre-packaged bottled water and use refillable cups and bottles only. Bring back the tap!
- Potable Water: Make sure the water is ‘potable’. (Suitable for drinking.) Have it tested and promote the results of the test to reassure your patrons what they’re drinking is healthy. Put water filters on taps if there is any doubt or psychological barriers to drinking it on behalf of the audience.
- Promotion: Pre-promote to the audience that they should bring their own bottles for refilling.
- Health Regs: Double check the health and safety regulations with regards to the aforementioned ‘spit transfer’ from tap nozzle to bottle opening.
- Bottles: Have refillable bottles for sale at your event.
- Signage: Adequately sign-post the water points, including them also on site maps and other relevant communications material.
- Sponsor: You could offer a partnership with your local water authority. They are likely to want to promote their water and its consumption.