Water drinking stations will be installed at this year’s Royal Bath & West Show, it has been announced, in an effort to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles at the event.
This is part of a commitment by the Show to phasing out single-use plastics altogether in the future.
Visitors and exhibitors alike are being encouraged to bring their own bottles or cups this year, topping them up at one of six water stations that will be clearly signposted at the event.
Reusable branded cups with lids will be available to purchase for those who do not bring their own. These will be given to all the volunteers at the Show in place of the bottles of water that have been distributed in previous years, reducing waste by almost 1,000 bottles across the four day event.
Rupert Cox, Chief Executive of the Royal Bath & West of England Society, which organises the Show, said, “We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and, while 99% of the waste from the Show already goes to an ‘energy from waste’ plant, the issue of single-use plastic needs to be addressed.
“This year we are encouraging our volunteers not to rely on plastic bottles, but to use the new drinking stations that we are installing across the showground. From next year we will be clamping down on the food vendors who, while already using recyclable and compostable packaging, will be expected to reduce their use and sale of single-use plastics.”
The Royal Bath & West Show requires caterers to use paper cups, plates and containers as well as wooden cutlery for recycling purposes, with polystyrene or plastic cups, containers and cutlery not permitted on the showground.
The Show’s Catering Co-ordinator, Chloë Warren, added, “As far as possible we are trying to encourage caterers to use alternatives to plastic and choose paper or wooden products instead. We also work with as many local caterers and food producers as possible to support local companies and reduce the carbon footprint of the food that is available at the showground. It is really important to us that the food sold on-site is sourced both locally and sustainably, and this is reflected in the high quality of the dishes that are available, created using some of the finest local produce.”
Now in its 155th year, the Royal Bath & West Show is not only one of the biggest agricultural shows in the country but it will also be the largest event happening in Somerset this year. Taking place at the Bath & West Showground near Shepton Mallet from 30 May to 2 June, the Royal Bath & West Show is England’s only four-day royal show, bringing together the very best of British agriculture, entertainment and food & drink.
Information and tickets are available from www.bathandwest.com, with a special Advance Saver ticket available until 29 May, which admits one adult plus two children free of charge for only £22.