Published on 30/07/18

Colmore Food Festival 2018 the most sustainable yet with record recycling levels

Our biggest annual event has shown it can also be one of the most sustainable after figures revealed record levels of food and waste recycling across its two days.

Colmore Food Festival, which takes place in Victoria Square each year, showcases the best of the Business District’s dining and hospitality venues through taster dishes, drinks and cookery demonstrations.

Facilitated by Colmore BID, and sponsored by legal firm DWF, this year’s Festival strived to achieve zero waste to landfill and applied a blanket ban on plastic drinking straws for its duration between Friday, July 6, and Saturday, July 7.

This year’s sun-kissed Festival featured the culinary talents of award-winning TV chef Glynn Purnell and attracted thousands of visitors keen to sample the latest menus from restaurants such as Opus, Asha’s, The Bureau and the Edwardian Tea Room at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

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.

The record levels of recycling at this year’s event means 54 trees and 7 Co2 tonnes have been saved and 1,947 KwH of energy produced.

Findings from recycling company The First Mile have revealed 62kg of used coffee grounds were recycled over the two days and converted into biofuels such as pellets for wood-burning stoves, while 125kg of food was recycled and broken down into biogas.

More than 1,400kg of mixed recycling was collected and taken to a plant in Oldbury to be separated and recycled, while 1,075kg of general waste was incinerated for energy.

The First Mile were on hand during the Festival to talk to Business District companies and recommend the latest recycling methods.

Mike Best, Colmore BID Board Director, said: “As a Business Improvement District we are aware of the environmental footprint such large events can create and we are really pleased with the work of The First Mile to help us to minimise this impact.

“It is encouraging to know our businesses have created energy, saved trees and played their part in creating a sustainable, enjoyable weekend of great food and drink.”

Matthew Verney of The First Mile said: “First Mile is delighted to have an ongoing relationship with the Colmore BID to achieve better recycling rates for local businesses as well as working toward improving air quality in the area. The Colmore Food Festival was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our unique services and our passion for the environment.”