A popular food festival will be the first in the borough to be plastic free when it is held in Rochdale Town Hall Square in May.
Organisers of Street Eat have banned single use plastics at the event on Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 May 2019, with all traders using environmentally friendlier paper alternatives instead.
Tasty food from restaurant chefs will be served over the Bank Holiday weekend with dozens of mouth-watering dishes to choose from including Spanish, Italian, Thai, English, Chinese, German American and more, but there won't be any plastic used. All food will be served in compostable sugar cane cartons or on sugar cane plates that are heat resistant and grease proof.
You'll be able to tuck in using wooden cutlery, and drinks will be served in 100% paper cups, with paper straws. Even the table linings will be from 100% recycled kraft paper. In fact, everything used to serve food and drinks at the event will be home compostable, and recycling bins will be on site.
The festival experimented with some paper products last year, but this is the first time it's been totally plastic free, said organiser Paul Ambrose, Business Improvement District Manager from Rochdale Town Centre Management: "Using and recycling more and more plastic isn't a long term solution, so we're committed to Street Eat being single-use plastic free and I hope visitors will agree this is a step in the right direction. We want the event to have the least possible impact on the environment."
'step in the right direction'
All the biodegradable alternatives have been supplied by Rochdale company 'The Paper Concept' who's aim is to rid the market of single use plastics, and owner Arron Dixon from Rochdale said he's excited to be involved in improving the events environmental credentials: "We attended Street Eat last year and were really impressed, but I'm very proud that we've been able to help make the first plastic free festival in Rochdale a reality. It just shows what can be done by working together and demonstrates the pioneering spirit is very much alive and well. I think Street Eat visitors will be impressed by the quality of the alternatives."
Unlike some polylactide (PLA)-coated paper products which require industrial composters, The Paper Concepts products to be used at Street Eat meet strict ethical guidelines. They can also be composted at home.
Street Eat, sponsored by building and construction company Willmott Dixon is promising another 2 days of food and fun, with lots to eat, drink and free entertainment, bringing together the town's best food and drink establishments.
Traders include The Baum, WowYauChow, Bombay Brew, The Medicine Tap, Issan Friends, Pudding Paradise, Vicolo de Vino and The Flying Horse Hotel. There will also be activities and funfair rides for children, Punch and Judy shows, a bar for the adults and live music hosted by Revolution 96.2.
The headline sponsor is Willmott Dixon, with support from Pulsar Property Solutions and Rochdale Round Table.
Admission is free.