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Running your event sustainably

Whether you are holding a street party or running a play street with different activities for your children, show us how you are reducing, reusing, or repurposing waste generated through your event. Take a look at the tips below and see how you can swap out single use plastic and, or run a ‘Swap Shop’ to positively influence your environmental impact and save money.

On the day, tag Merton Council on social media, use the hashtag #MertonSustainableStreets and send us a photo of your event, so we can celebrate your sustainable street and encourage even more residents to do the same!

  1. Reusable water bottles and cups - Use your own cups, or invest in a reusable bottle to prevent unnecessary plastic waste going to landfill.
  2. Buy loose fruit and veg - A simple way to cut down on single-use plastic is to opt for loose fruit and veg instead of bagged produce if catering for your event.
  3. Refill, refill, refill -  The Refill App can help you scope out plastic-free produce in your area, to reduce the amount of waste generated if purchasing food for your event.
  4. Organise a ‘Swap Shop’ - Each year in the UK £140million worth of clothing goes to landfill according to WRAP. But by buying second hand, buying less and finding new ways to style the clothes you already own, you can help change things. Organise a ‘Swap Shop’ with your neighbours to trade clothes, save money and reduce the carbon footprint of your household’s clothing purchases! You can do the same for books, toys and gardening tools too. 
  5. Eco-friendly alternatives to cling film - According to BeeWraps, British households use enough cling film each year to wrap around the globe 30 times! But this single-use plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade, so consider what eco-friendly alternatives you could use.
  6. Be wary of "biodegradable" claims - It may reassure you to see "biodegradable" on packaging, but sadly, there’s little to back this claim up. Anything claiming to be biodegradable should break down into natural materials, but there’s no saying how long this will take. Instead, look for "home compostable" certification, which has stricter criteria about the time it should take something to break down in the conditions typical of a garden compost bin.
  7. Make your own cleaning cloths - Cleaning up after your street event, then use pure cotton T-shirts and towels that have come to the end of their life, instead of purchasing new cleaning cloths and sponges. Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut them into cleaning cloths. Squares roughly 40 x 40cm in size will make a great addition to your cleaning kit.
  8. Remove sticky tape before you recycle - Remember that sticky tape isn’t recyclable. Pick it off before adding paper tablecloths, or bunting to your recycling bin.
  9. Recycle crisp packets- Walkers launched its own crisp packet recycling scheme in response to a 2018 campaign that saw environmentally conscious crisp lovers post packaging back to Walkers HQ. Save up crisp packets from any brand, then drop them off at a collection point. Recycled crisp packets will go on to have a second life as fence posts and flooring. 
  10. Get creative with leftovers - Repurposing leftovers is a great way to prevent food waste, stretch your money further and reduce carbon emissions. See Lovefoodhatewaste and Sustainable Merton, to find out how you can be part of the solution.