It all started last year at Natural Products Expo West in Southern California, an inspiring event committed to sustainable living and green products. The event uses disposable plastic cups for drink and snack samples—thousands of them. They’re used for a few seconds then tossed in the trash. Every year we are shocked by the event’s overflowing trash cans and general lack of attention paid to reducing waste.
We always carry our own reusable containers, and last year people loved the idea, especially at booths where sample drinks or snacks were provided in single-use plastic cups. Many of our customers and fellow show attendees expressed their hope for a more sustainable show, and even Alice Waters was shocked by the amount of trash and shared this Instagram post.
Joining the Cause to Reduce Single-Use Waste
Our goal this year was to change behaviors, reduce a lot of waste, and start a movement that we hope will catch on: We gave away hundreds of reusable mini containers to attendees and exhibitors to use for drink and snack samples at the show. Instead of using the thousands of plastic tasting cups, people used our zero-waste stainless steel containers and loved them.
We changed a lot of habits and saved about 8,000 disposable cups from heading to a landfill. We’re looking forward to incorporating more ideas to help the show go green, including offering larger stainless steel to-go containers, waste-free snack bags, and reusable bamboo utensils. Onward to next year’s Expo West and more opportunities to encourage reuse!