With over eight million tonnes of plastic being thrown away each year, single-use plastic is fast becoming one of the world’s most discussed topics. Countless organisations, businesses and events are turning to more sustainable methods and ExCeL London is no exception.

To add its weight to the global sustainability movement, ExCeL has taken certain steps to reduce its plastic waste. Our podcast host, James Dickson, invited ExCel London’s senior marketing manager, Julia Galbraith, to discuss the changes made throughout the venue.

By its nature, the events industry is very wasteful: supplies and products are brought in only to be discarded when the event is over. ExCeL posed the question, “what little steps can we take to significantly reduce the amount of waste that we generate?”

The answer initiated ExCeL’s campaign that publicly stated: “we are 100 per cent committed to reducing the amount of single-use plastic generated by [us].”


The campaign involved installing permanent water fountains to allow guests to fill their own reusable bottles. By doing so, the venue saved a staggering 40,000 plastic bottles in the first three months.

Though this has impacted revenue generated from drinks sales, Julia stated that there is now a moral obligation to “do the right thing”. It also gives credit to consumers who are taking sustainability into consideration and carry with them reusable cups and bottles.

ExCeL London welcomes four million visitors every year so the “little steps” taken by the venue have created a huge impact. Julia commended the customers and clients of ExCeL for having a positive reaction to the new measurements: “We have been met with absolutely no resistance.”

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com 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.