New Hope Network, producer of Natural Products Expo, the world's largest natural, organic and healthy products event, has announced a goal to eliminate single-use plastic from the Natural Products Expo West and East trade shows by 2022.
For several years, show producers have been partnering with suppliers and vendors to reduce the use of plastic by either eliminating it completely or finding alternatives, such as prohibiting the use of expanded polystyrene (known as Styrofoam) and replacing foamcore signage in exhibitor service kits with recyclable alternatives. Show organizers will be expanding this initiative over the next two years by requiring additional commitments from partner hotels, venues, exhibitors and attendees.
Natural Products Expo exhibitors will be asked to eliminate plastic sampling cups, utensils and other serving vessels on the show floor. Companies will be required to use only compostable, edible or reusable options. To support exhibitors, New Hope will continue to provide the option for exhibitors to add on compost and recycling porter service at the shows.
During Natural Products Expo West and East, convention centers and hotel partners will be required to eliminate single-use plastic including straws, cups, utensils and serviceware throughout bars, restaurants, room service and catering. All trash cans on event grounds must be paired with recycling bins, including inside hotel guest rooms. In addition, plastic bottles will not be available in guest rooms or concession outlets as all water must be bottled or canned with the ability to recycle in a local facility. The event will offer ample opportunities for attendees to refill water bottles throughout the campus as well three-bin waste stations allowing waste to be disposed into the correct stream, including compost.
“The natural products industry is in a position to lead the way toward more sustainable business practices, and we strive to make the Natural Products Expos reflect that leadership with our Sustainability Program. We recognize the shows have an impact on the environment and are eager to work together with our community to take this next big step toward reducing waste and conserving resources for the benefit of our planet,” said Lacey Gautier, group show director at New Hope Network, in a statement.
“When business is not done in an environmentally sustainable way, the cost is externalized. Our current climate crisis is in big part a result of industry externalizing costs to the detriment of the planet, in the name of economic growth,” said longtime Natural Products Expo exhibitor David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s, in a statement. “Dr. Bronner’s prides itself on being an engine for progressive social change and environmental sustainability—this means living and working with an intention to model our values. We support New Hope’s commitment to reduce the negative environmental impact of the Natural Products Expo. Our industry needs to adopt best practices that truly model a regenerative and sustainable approach to living on Earth.”
New Hope Network acknowledges the commitment of attendees, partners and exhibitors already taking steps to eliminate single-use plastic from campus including sustainability sponsors Horizon Organic and Tetra Pak. Other event sponsors taking positive steps include Goli Nutrition, Houlihan Lokey, Lily’s Sweets, Lifeway, LaCroix, PathWater, Robinson Pharma, TH Foods and YouTheory. Exhibiting brands that have shown a commitment to sustainable practices onsite include Myoko’s, ReGrained, Revive Kombucha, Mother Raw, Blue Circle Foods, Gabriella’s Kitchen, Nature’s Bakery, Hevea, Food and Vine, Justin’s, Motherlove Herbal Co., Moon Valley Organics, Organic Essence Inc., Andros Foods and more.
This piece originally appeared on Waste360, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more waste and recycling news.