The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) has joined with Positive Impact, an organization dedicated to creating a sustainable meetings industry, as the exclusive destination partner to address the use of single-use plastics in events and conferences. Together we will celebrate Earth Day with the release of a new set of educational tools and resources to help event organizers, suppliers and attendees find alternatives to address the role of single-use plastics in the events industry. 

“Sustainable practices are growing as a key factor in how meeting planners select destinations for their conferences.  MCCVB maintains a Client Advisory Board consisting of top planners from around the United States who have made clear the importance of environmental responsibility,” explained Tammy Blount-Canavan, President and CEO of MCCVB. She added, “The feedback we’ve received has been unequivocal and playing a leading role in addressing single-use plastics fulfills a core element of our destination values.”

The worldwide initiative is shared with the United Nations Environment team as well as commitments of support from industry organizations such as Freeman Informa, IBTM World, Meeting Planners In-ternational (MPI), ILEA, SPIN, ASAE and PCMA. “The events industry definitely uses plastics in a variety of ways, and this process will not happen overnight, but over years,” said Fiona Pelham, CEO of Positive Impact. Pelham went on to explain, “We now have the resources in place to identify how plastic is used in the events industry and the opportunity to work with experts to find alternatives that will not have a negative environmental impact.”

In addition to providing resources for action, this campaign provides the opportunity for anyone to pledge their commitment to address the role of plastic in the events industry. Helena Rey De Assis, Head of Consumption and Production, UN Environment stated, “We are joining forces with Positive Impact to highlight the importance to measure and monitor plastics use in the event sector. This campaign will provide an opportunity for companies to pledge their commitment and minimize the impact of the event industry in the world’s plastic consumption and use.”

To raise awareness, Positive Impact is launching an app for event organizers and attendees to identify plastics use and will conduct a 24-hour global tweet-a-thon on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Share Day on April 23rd starting at 12:00 AM GMT under the hashtag #CSRshareDay. The MCCVB along with Positive Impact, Edmonton Tourism, InterContinental San Francisco, MPI, the San Francisco Giants and others will each host an hour of conversation discussing CSR, sustainability and use of single-use plastics. Additionally, IMEX Frankfurt will hold a number of educational sessions on the initiative, including an education session led by Pelham as well as the first ever politician’s Sustainability Policy Roundtable which will include a discussion on policy support to address plastics.

To download group workshop materials to address the role of plastics in the event industry: