Calls for events industry to stop use of harmful PVC signage


Hollywood Monster, one of the UK’s leading printing and signage contractors, is calling on the events industry to do more when it comes to reducing the use of harmful plastic signage.  

There has been a growing awareness within the industry of the impact of plastic waste on the environment, with attendees and performers increasingly demanding organisers to be as sustainable as possible. And many events companies and venues are taking steps to reduce single use plastics, with initiatives such as using biodegradable or reusable cups and cutlery and providing water refill stations.

However, the UK events industry is known to generate a significant amount of waste each year. According to a 2018 report by Powerful Thinking, an organisation focused on sustainable event management, the UK festival industry alone produces around 23,500 tons of waste annually. The report also found that only about a third (32 per cent) of this waste is recycled, while the rest is sent to landfill or incinerated.

As those within the industry continue to work hard to change the reliance on plastics, Hollywood Monster believes it can reduce its use of plastic further, with a range of revolutionary sustainable signage. Some of the materials reuse single use plastic waste, such as water bottles to make signage including promotional banners, flags, backdrops, wayfinding and informational to name a few.  

Newly developed eco-friendly materials are available, but Simon McKenzie, CEO at Hollywood Monster explains;

“We have seen fantastic advancements in the development of eco-friendly alternatives to plastic materials over the last 10 years or so, and we have been working hard with our partners to offer sustainable alternatives to our customers. That been said, although companies are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and grow towards being more environmentally friendly, we have found many are hesitant to commit to trying new materials that they haven’t had experience of before.

“We want to reassure the industry that these new eco-friendly materials are high quality, affordable and durable, and will stop some of the waste the events industry is producing from ending up in landfill. Not only do we vigorously test every new material before adding it to our range, but its durability can be proven by many case studies.”

Sustainable signage is something the organisers of the Commonwealth Games are keen to explore. Hollywood Monster was the principal print supplier for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and following its success will be supplying signage for the Commonwealth Festival, marking the one-year anniversary of the big event. The organisers pride themselves on their sustainability and have decided to promote the anniversary using fully recyclable materials, meaning zero official signage from the event will end up in landfill.

Hollywood Monster is so committed to sustainability that it is absorbing the 20 per cent cost increase it takes to manufacture. As a result, it is providing its customers with revolutionary eco-friendly materials at the same cost as non-sustainable alternatives.

Thanks to Hollywood Monster’s commitment and engagement with innovative suppliers, the amount of its signage ending up in landfill has been reduced by 80 per cent, with a view to offering a 100 per cent sustainable range by 2025.

Simon goes on to explain;

“We’re pleased that we have been able to reduce our impact on landfill, however we would like to see the entire process of making, displaying and disposing of signage eco-friendly. From using plastic bottles to make pellets that then produce biodegradable materials, to working with our customers to collectively recycle unwanted displays.

“It’s an exciting time for our industry, as we continue to develop new formulas on our sustainable range to give the products more weldability and strength. We enjoy working closely with trusted partners to offer the industry new, revolutionary materials that help to limit our impact on the environment.

“Our vision is to collaborate with all those who work within the print industry and who use signage in their operations to achieve a 100 per cent sustainable range by 2025, negating the need for PVC altogether.”

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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