When Co-Ordination Events Hire’s business completely dried up the 33-year-old family-run company had no choice but branch out. They expanded with an innovative approach to helping events become more sustainable. Director of Blue Planet Washing Solutions Jenna Goode-White told EN that the shift has been a great decision.
Explain the background of Blue Planet?
Blue Planet was formed off the back of Covid-19. Co-ordination kind of fell off the side of a cliff. But it gave us the chance as a company and as a family to stop, regroup and diversify.
Events need to move into being more sustainable. We can’t carry on in this throwaway society. There’s definitely been a shift. We want to make a change and be right at the front of the circular economy. So we decided to invest in the machine and got off the ground last summer.
How does it work?
We are simply a washing facility. We have customers who approach us. They have the cups, with their branding or whatever on, and we organise the logistics and the washing and storage and redistribute to venues.
You can get hundreds and hundreds of reuses out of a container rather than it being thrown away into landfill.
The machine has capacity to do 8,000 to 10,000 cups an hour. We do 7,500 because everything is hand checked by eye. Quality control is a big deal for us. That’s what we’re proud of.
What about water usage?
We invested in the most efficient, top quality machine you can get on market. It’s made in Germany by a company called Meiko. It was the first one that landed in this country. We think we’ve invested really well.
The water gets reused. The cups go through a pre-rinse, a wash and a rinse. But the water it uses for wash and rinse it takes back round for pre-rinse.
Because it’s a family business we care. We’re not huge, but we really do care about our customeRs and that’s how we want to stand out.
How do you see the future for events?
The future’s really exciting. We can’t keep using single use plastic. We’re starting this journey and feel like we’re on the cusp of that. It’s got to stop. We’ve all got to change. I want us to be part of that.
Moving forward we want to have another machine, electric vehicles and solar panels.
We speak to so many people at exhibitions who tell us they are sustainable, but there were still big bins full of coffee cups. There is so much more that can be done and we provide a very simple solution.
All elements of the back end of running an event is a waste. It’s working with the waste companies to look at the bigger pictures.
This feature appears in the May issue of Exhibition News.