Published on 07/06/18

Colmore Food Festival 2018 to ban plastic drinking straws as part of zero landfill mission

The Colmore Food Festival is hoping to become one of the most sustainable events in Birmingham with a mission to achieve zero waste to landfill and a total ban on plastic drinking straws.

Now established as one of the UK’s leading free-to-enter food and drink events, Colmore Food Festival attracts more than 30,000 visitors each year.

It is delivered by the area’s Business Improvement District (BID) and prides itself on each of the taster dishes costing no more than £4, which means visitors can try the different menu options on offer at more than 30 food and drink stalls without breaking the bank.

The Festival, sponsored by Business District legal firm DWF, will be returning to Victoria Square for the eighth time on Friday July 6 and Saturday July 7 and the BID is working with recycling experts First Mile to ensure the weekend event is as environmentally conscious as possible by banning plastic straws.

The UK uses millions of plastic drinking straws each year and they are among the top ten items found in beach clean-ups, according to research by the Marine Conservation Society.

In addition to recycling stations at the Festival, specialist sustainability initiatives will include coffee recycling; where all coffee grounds will be recycled into pellets to use in wood-burners and stoves.

And food waste will be taken to a state-of-the-art plant where it can be recycled into renewable energy and nutrient-rich fertiliser.

First Mile will be at the Festival to offer advice on business sustainability and the latest recycling initiatives.

Mike Best, Colmore BID Board Director, said: “As a Business District we are acutely aware of the impact of single-use plastics and the damaging effect they are having on the environment.
“We hope that by working with recycling experts First Mile we can host a sustainable, environmentally-friendly Colmore Food Festival for the enjoyment of the 30,000 visitors we are expecting this year.”

Bruce Bratley, founder and CEO of First Mile, said: “We’re thrilled to be working alongside Colmore Business District on what’s set to be a fantastic event.

“The fact that the organisers are putting sustainability and the environment at the heart of the organisation with a zero to landfill promise is admirable.

“Making small changes like recycling coffee grounds, not offering plastic straws and adding extra recycling stations for visitors will make a big difference to the recycling rate of the event, and we’re looking forward to offering them the extra support with the waste and recycling clean up over the weekend, on top of our regular commitments to servicing Birmingham businesses on a daily basis.”

This year’s Colmore Food Festival will once again feature the culinary skills of Glynn Purnell, who has won numerous awards for his fine dining with a twist.

The Michelin-starred chef and TV show host will help officially launch the Festival before hosting cookery demonstrations on the Kitchen Stage.

The Festival will also feature taster dishes and drinks prepared by Business District favourites Opus, The Old Joint Stock, Purecraft Bar & Kitchen, Gusto, Gaucho, Primitivo and Hotel du Vin among many others. New businesses to the District; Pinchos, Coffee #1, Jailbird and Hookway’s will be participating for the first time.

There will be live music, roving performers and other activities to keep the whole family entertained for the two days.