As global focus centres on the devastating effects of single-use plastics worldwide, sustainable alternatives are coming to the forefront. Following our recent interview with Attractions Management Magazine we’re working to highlight the benefits of moving away from single-use plastics in favour of sustainable alternatives - and explain why making the switch can be simple, easy and cost-effective for theme parks.

Why are single-use plastics a problem for theme parks?

Theme parks and attractions all over the world have one huge problem in common – the sheer amount of waste generated on their grounds every day. Much of this goes to landfill – where it contributes to a wider issue that continues to global warming and habitat destruction worldwide. As companies large and small are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their green credentials, theme parks continue to struggle with the huge volume of waste they generate and must then process and dispose of each year.

What are the benefits of making the switch to sustainable alternatives?

There are multiple advantages for theme parks when it comes to throwing out single use plastics in favour of compostable and recyclable packaging. The primary benefit is clear – as biodegradable, sustainable packaging alternatives ensure safer, more ethical practice that is kinder both for the immediate environment and the planet as a whole. Litter on-site is dramatically reduced whilst compostable packaging becomes soil within 12 weeks, where it can then be used to fertilise crops. As consumers become more aware and increasingly passionate about the way in which everyday products affect the environment, a larger number actively look for and request sustainable, ethical practices from the companies they engage with. Therefore the switch can also be fruitful from a promotional perspective, tapping into consumer focus and demonstrating that as a business you’ll go the extra mile to make a difference.

Making the switch is inexpensive, contrary to popular belief. It’s also incredibly easy to make a change across the board – as you can make a straight swap for products from food containers and cups to knives and forks and napkins. We always have plastic-free alternatives readily available at Biopac and hold plenty of stock to guarantee a quick turnaround – including next working day delivery when required. Jon Clark from Crealy Adventure Park and Resort explains: “Switching to compostable products has allowed us to be more environmentally friendly, whilst still getting amazing visual packaging at very competitive pricing. It’s also a great message to share with our guests when they visit our catering outlets here at Crealy Adventure Park and Resort".

Small changes can make a big difference

Small changes do make a significant difference – as demonstrated by the government’s introduction of a 5p plastic bag charge. This has reduced plastic bag usage in Britain by 85%. The same results can be seen within the confines of theme parks via the implementation of several simple steps. We recommend instant, sustainable swaps, such as removing free plastic straws from customer view – a simple and easy change that reduces usage by up to 80%.

Is it important however to consider the infrastructure that will need to be in place for non-plastic alternatives to really work within a theme park or attraction site. As consumer awareness is still relatively low, attractions have a responsibility to guide them when it comes to disposal through installing recycling bins and clearly marked paper, plastic, glass and metal disposal chutes to help visitors to make a positive contribution to your wider effort.

For guidance and support on making the switch to sustainable, compostable alternatives contact Biopac today.