Reusebox & G'scheit feiern project
The exchange of good practices is becoming increasingly important in Europe. Especially in the Interreg Europe projects - a sister programme of the Central Europe Programme - the exchange of experiences is in the foreground of activities. On the part of the Interreg Europe project WINPOL, Mr. Berthold Schleich, who also accompanies the SURFACE project in an advisory role, was invited to present two good practices from Styria at an interregional seminar in Antwerp last November. On the one hand the project "Re-Use Box", which has already been presented in this newsletter, and on the other hand the project "G'scheit feiern", which has been in existence in the province of Styria for nearly 20 years and has already received several awards.
In the past, places in Styria where festivals and celebrations took place were heavily polluted by disposable plastic. This resulted in high costs for cleaning and disposal. For this reason, the waste department of the Province of Styria initiated the campaign "G’scheit feiern” (celebrate cleverly) and developed criteria for the sustainable organisation of festivals. Financial support was offered for festivals that met the criteria. A network of 43 waste consultants from the waste management associations act as "G'scheit feiern" regional advisors, advising organisers and checking compliance with the "G'scheit feiern" criteria. They always initiate excellent showcase projects. Since 2017 "G'scheit feiern" is part of the Austria-wide "Green Events Austria" network. With the "Infothek Green Events Styria", a new web-based information portal for a sustainable event industry has been created; it is also intended to network organisers, producers and service providers. Within the framework of "G'scheit feiern" events, only reusable crockery and cutlery as well as glasses or reusable cups may be used. Only regionally produced drinks and food may be offered, if possible from organic farming. Furthermore, a sustainable journey to the event, e.g. car pooling or shared taxis, is supported.
90 % of waste could be reduced per event. Since 2001 around 4.5 million visitors who saved 4.000 tonnes of waste and 45 million euros went directly to Styrian producers. G‘scheit feiern influences other types of events (like running events) to use reusable cups instead of single use cups. The City of Graz published a guideline for events on public areas that reusable crockery and cutlery must be used. An intensive networking of waste advisers working in the waste management associations was established.
The "G'scheit feiern" project is a genuine circular economy project and should not be missing in any re-use park in a similar form or discussed with regional stakeholders as a possible service within the framework of the service offer. Festival events usually lead to a large amount of waste and pollution of the festival grounds. The implementation of such sustainable events will also attract groups of participants who are not normally open-minded and environmentally aware citizens. In this way, waste prevention can be practically demonstrated and a new low-waste festival culture can be conveyed. At the same time the consumption of regionally and biologically produced beverages and products is promoted, so that the money spent remains in the region. "G'scheit feiern" is a long-standing and successfully implemented example of good practice so that other actors can build on this experience. This will be particularly important in the implementation of the new European directive on single-use plastics.
More information available: http://www.gscheitfeiern.at