We all know by now that plastics are not the most environmentally friendly and even though we still see plastics everywhere we look – many companies have taken steps to create plastic free alternative to your usual conference swag.
Non plastic does not have to mean you miss out on your usual conference and trade show tote bag swag- there are plenty of ecologically friendly alternatives that can help reduce your conference carbon footprint simply by using sustainable materials.
where’s the plastic at conferences?
Plastic at conferences is everywhere. We find it in our badges and badge holders, in our lanyards, in our promotional items such as pens, notebooks, stickers, even the tradeshow stands are made up of a LOT of plastics. If that’s not enough, we we also find it wrapped around the things we use before during and after the conference – that promo notebook did not wrap itself!
Lunch may consist of wrapped sandwiches, serviettes, plastic cutlery and plastic cups for water – most likely out of plastic water bottles… not to mention the coffee creamer and sugar in that all important mid morning coffee break! Phew – that’s a LOT of plastic in one place!
- Packaging. Most new items come in their own packaging – so even with the best of intentions we may still be bringing in plastic
- Synthetic Materials. Backdrops, table cloths, banners, giveaways – if not plastic then probably a plastic derivative
- Drinks Cans. Often lined with a plastic coating
- Glue. from sticky tape to stick it notes, glue contains plastic
- Coffee Cups. Single use cups, lids, straws and more – one of the worst offenders
- Tech. Cables, chargers, carry cases, plastic plastic plastic
- Bottles. Water bottles, pop bottles, cartons – likely a high percentage of plastic!
- ID Cards. That’s right – printed on plastic!
- Straws. Single use items – however plastic straws are now often outlawed at events
- Balloons. Event stands + balloons = plastic
- Pens. Chances are your old faithful swag pen is printable plastic
Recycled vs Recyclable
If plastic free wasn’t confusing enough, there are other things to consider. Biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, recycled, sustainable, partially-bio.. do any products fit the exact specification or are they simply better than the alternative? Let’s take a look!
what are the plastic free alternatives?
Just like plastic – wheat straw is lightweight and stands up to heavy treatment. Unlike plastic – this new bioplastic is not made from fossil fuels
View our Wheat Straw Promotional Products
Limestone paper. stone paper or rock paper is made form stone dust and a bio polythene resin. Stone Paper is white due to being made from calcium carbonate, and keeps it’s shape over time. Stone paper is also waterproof and washable combining the advantage of both paper and plastic
View Our Limestone Paper Name Badges
Check back for more information – every week we will be taking a deep dive into bioplastics and eco friendly products for your conference – including how it’s made and how you can help make your next conference as plastic free as possible!