The annual street food festival Calentita has banned the use of plastic at this year’s event on June 23 for the first time, describing it as “the right thing to do.”
Environmental groups have welcomed the news.
An information pack from the organisers of Calentita states, “It’s the biggy. Calentita is a huge event, and even though we have made real efforts since the very beginning to reduce our environmental impact there is just no getting away from the fact that we produce a lot of waste and a lot of it is plastic.”
“This year we are going to try very substantially to reduce the plastic waste produced by the event,” it added.
Organisers are asking all participants not to use any single use disposable plastic items, such as plates, bowls, knives, forks, cups and trays.
They are also asking the public to join them in this endeavour by asking – as they have previously – for people to bring their own reusable crockery and cutlery. If people are using disposable items, organisers are asking for these to be paper and not plastic.
Organisers have suggested to stall runners that they use bamboo or similar items as these are “even better than paper”. It will ask event goers to help pay for this incentive by paying a small amount for these items, thereby not making it an additional cost to the store holder. These items are available and will be bought locally.
The Environmental Safety Group welcomed the news. Janet Howitt, told the Chronicle “it’s a really good movement [the ban on plastics] and it is building momentum. Every level of society is getting involved and I commend them [Calentita organisers] on this.”
The Nautilus Group has been running various ban plastic campaigns over the years, with great success. Its marine biologist, Lewis Stagnetto, said “it is brilliant news to hear that such a popular event as Calentita Night is going plastic free.”
“TNP having raising awareness to the problems of single-use plastic and it is very encouraging to see the organisers take stock for this type of community event; full credit to them and we are available to support them in whatever way they might need.”
“Great community, great event, great food and now plastic free…GREAT!,” he added.
The Ministry for Environment said, “plastic reduction is Government policy and plastic free events should now become the norm. At the very least a reduction in single use plastic will be encouraged from here on.”