Developing best practice hygiene guidelines for the event and venue industry to implement reusables in a consistent and safe manner in a post covid-19 world. Event industry and sustainability stakeholders from around the world have announce d the formation of the Global Reusables at Events Hygiene Project (RHP) to ensure that reusable items such as cups are implemented per best practice hygiene standards for live entertainment, music, festivals and sport events following the increased hygiene concerns due to COVID-19.
The project was born out of the Sustainable Event Alliance’s global hackathon that was held in April where 800 event industry representatives gathered to look at risks and opportunities to #buildbackbetter as we emerge from this global crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a global discussion of how to ensure the safety of reusable systems in a public health crisis. Based on the best available science and guidance from public health professionals, reusable systems can be used safely by employing basic hygiene.1
The RH Project’s mission is to support the ongoing implementation of reuse by developing a best practice hygiene operating guideline for reusable containers at events and venues based on existing standards and evidence that will drive assurance, transparency and accountability for consumers, industry and government. These standards will be flexible, adaptable and scalable to meet the varying implementation requirements of an event, venue, supplier or governing bodies with safety and environmental benefit at its core.
The RH Working Group includes representatives from the Sustainable Event Alliance, Green Events International, A Greener Festival (see AGF’s recent plastics panel here) and Oceanic Global as well as reusable cup companies, event delivery experts and other specialists (full list in notes) and is supported by The Ocean Race.
Co-Founder of Bettercup (Australia) and Sustainable Event Alliance Leadership Team Member Christie Kamphuis is the appointed Project Lead who will oversee the Working Group and coordinate the development of the RH Guideline. The RH Project will work in conjunction with key stakeholders to build confidence and awareness of the hygiene best practice guideline so that the event industry can approach the issue of hygiene for reusable containers at events in a consistent and safe manner in a post covid-19 world.
Releasing this statement on behalf of the RH Project, Christie Kamphuis said “As we all know, no lone person can create systemic and transformative change all by themselves or without a good team of people, so the collaborative nature of this cross-industry working group is exciting. I am confident the outcomes of this project will ensure reusable solutions are consistently and safely implemented and encourage even more events and venues to make the switch to a reuse system model. We recently released an event industry wide survey, and a key takeaway was that our industry would like more transparency and consistency regarding what the best practice hygiene standards are and information on how to meet those standards with the different reusable system options available to them either onsite or offsite.”
Supporting the project is The Ocean Race, a global sailing race recognised for its sustainability leadership. The last edition of the race in 2017-18 single-use plastic and marine pollution were a major focus.
Sustainability Advisor for The Ocean Race, Meegan Jones says “We had reusable cup systems at most of their stopovers during the last edition and we are concerned that without a project like this, there could be a temptation to revert to single-use serviceware. We are committed to maximising reusable cups and water refills in our future race villages and want to make sure there is a clear directive on how to manage this in varied event settings.”
For more information about the RH Project, please reach out to: Christie@sustainable-event-alliance.org
RH Working Group Members
● Christie Kamphuis – Bettercup and Sustainable Event Alliance, Australia
● Kim Renshaw – Beyond the Bin, New Zealand
● Laura Van de Voort – Green Events International, The Netherlands
● Claire O’Neill – A Greener Festival, United Kingdom
● Hugh Scobie – WOMADelaide, Australia
● Liam Prince – The Rubbish Trip and Takeaway Throwaways, New Zealand
● Luuk van Dierman – LCA Centre, The Netherlands
● Keiko Nicollini -r.cup, United States (West Coast)
● Paula Hopkinson – Green Goblet, United Kingdom
● Julie Duffus – International Olympic Committee, Switzerland
● Julia Spangler – SustainableEvents Consultant, United States (East Coast)
● Merrin Pearse – Coordinate4U, Hong Kong
● Cassia Patel -Oceanic Global, United States (East Coast)
● Emily Ford – Hope Solutions, United Kingdom
● Meegan Jones – The Ocean Race
Photo: Oya Festival, Norway