Multipurpose London events spaces Oval Space and The Pickle Factory are set to eradicate single-use plastic cups and bottles from both locations by 31 of July 2019.

The initiative is a first step towards going completely green. Oval Space is a 5,000sqft venue owned, along with sister venue The Pickle Factory, by live experience agency BeSixth.

The move draws inspiration from Plastic Free July, a global movement that challenges millions of participants to reduce single-use plastic waste and be part of the solution to plastic pollution.

The venues will replace all plastic water bottles with Life Water, a zero plastic, BPA free and locally sourced alternative that is fully recyclable. Plastic cups will be replaced with cups made from PLA corn-starch, which is fully compostable and will go into the standard food waste. The effect will be drastic, replacing an average of 60,000 plastic cups and 3,200 single-use plastic water bottles per month. Oval Venues will also be writing to its suppliers, for example beverage wholesalers, to encourage them to stop sending single-use plastic packaging.

In order to absorb the commercial costs, Oval Venues will be introducing a ‘Green Tax’ for all customers who buy tickets to any event at Oval Space or The Pickle Factory. Ticketed events will now be subject to a £1 ‘Green Tax’ fee, whilst corporate venue clients will pay a mandatory flat fee of £75 on top of their regular hire fees. This will go towards biodegradable cups, new combustible waste providers to dispose of the PLA cups in an eco-friendly processing facility, additional cleaning costs, biodegradable wristbands, and new recycling bins.

Any remaining money from the Green Tax will be donated to organisations and charities fighting for a greener future. Until the end of the year, the difference will be split equally and donated to student-led environmental organisation UKSCN and Friends of the Earth, a charity dedicated to protecting the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it.

As businesses start to take a stronger stance on green values specifically and CSR initiatives in general, Oval Venues hopes the move will encourage other venues to re-think plastic usage. To double down on this mission, Oval Venues has offered UKSCN (the UK Student Climate Network) free office space to further support their fight for climate change reform.

Dominic Perez-Silva, business development manager at Oval Space, commented: “We’re incredibly proud to announce the eradication of single-use plastics from Oval Space and The Pickle Factory by 31 July 2019, as part of our wider long-term plan to become a completely green venue. As the first multi-purpose venue in the UK to take this step, we hope that ‘Oval Green’ will encourage other individuals, venues and corporates to re-think their plastic initiatives.

“As well as the changes announced today, Oval Venues will also be exploring new, more eco-friendly energy providers. Obviously, some aspects of our environmental impact remain outside of our control but recent initiatives, not least the transformation of Glastonbury this year, inspired us to start making changes ourselves.”