The Royal Welsh Show strengthens its green credentials

16 July 2018

As the Royal Welsh Show approaches, we have been busy making sure that this year’s event is greener than ever.

Promoting a positive approach to recycling, the society have implemented and reinforced a number of key actions to make sure the 2018 Royal Welsh Show plays its part in caring for our natural environment.

Although drinking water has always been readily available onsite, this year we have marked the taps on our handy visitor map, available online, in our programme and catalogue and within our Royal Welsh Show App. We have also added additional signs around the showground to help you easily find these refill points. So make sure you remember to bring along your reusable bottle and keep yourself topped up and hydrated, especially if the weather stays so summery.

We have got a large number of recycling points dotted throughout the showground which are clearly marked. These bins, are emptied regularly during the week to ensure the maximum amount of waste is recycled.

Taking our approach to recycling further, we are now working in partnership with Radnor Hills Mineral Water, our bottled water partner. Together we have created a closed loop recycling system. This works by visitors placing their used Radnor Hills water bottle in the dedicated and clearly marked Radnor Hills recycling bins, which are then collected and recycled directly into new bottles by Radnor Hills.

“We are excited to be able to offer a closed loop recycling system at this year’s Royal Welsh Show! We hope this campaign helps not only those at the show recycle their bottles, but also helps recycling across the UK gather the momentum it needs to be a success” says Chris Sanders – Sales Director at Radnor Hills

Another of our preferred suppliers, Castell Howell Foods have also confirmed that they have a wide range of recyclable products that they are using to supply the onsite caterers for use throughout the show.

We are also delighted that the company who run our Members Bar, Streamline Leisure, now only use compostable/biodegradable food trays and utensils, as well as paper straws. Any of their plastic waste which can be collected and recycled, is turned into children’s climbing frames.

We have, in recent years, installed a number of new seating areas throughout the showground. These benches and seats are from a company called Birch Plastics who specialise in creating furniture from recycled plastics.

“A lot of organising goes into staging one of the largest agricultural shows in Europe, but we are determined to make sure the Royal Welsh Show and the showground, here in Llanelwedd, is as environmentally friendly as possible” explains Chief Executive, Steve Hughson.

“We are not naive to the fact that holding big events generates a lot of waste, but we are taking pro-active steps to ensure that we are doing as much as we can to reduce the amount of rubbish which goes into landfill and increase our recycling facilities onsite.

“We are also working closely with our partners, contractors and suppliers to ensure that, where possible, the use of single-use plastics is reduced and compostable and biodegradable options are used instead.

“With this is mind, we would like to encourage visitors to bring their own re-usable water bottles with them to the show and fill them up from our drinking water taps throughout the day.”

Along with taking steps to decrease the amount of waste generated at the show, the society have invested a lot of resources to ensure the site is run more sustainably all year round. A number of years ago a significant investment was made to add solar panels to the roof of the food hall. This renewable 150KW energy system benefits both the society and electricity companies.

We have also recently invested in a private bore hole, two large storage tanks and a state of the art pumping station. This water, which is collected during the year, is used to irrigate the main ring and used to wash out the livestock buildings and lorries. We also have a newly installed system in place to use grey water to flush the toilets in some of our toilets. This all goes a long way to reducing our reliance on mains drinking water and ensuring the site remains sustainable.

“The calendar is packed with fantastic major events throughout the year in Wales, catering for a wide range of interests and welcoming tens of thousands of visitors." says Environment Minister, Hannah Blythyn.

“I’ve been meeting the organisers of some our biggest events this year to discuss what they can do to improve their carbon footprint. There are a number of steps which can help cut down on waste, like using more recyclable materials on-site, having plenty of recycling bins available and providing water refill points, to cut down on single-use plastics.

“I’m pleased to see the steps the Royal Welsh and its partners have taken so far, which shows what can be done to cut down on waste at major events, without costing the earth.”    

The pinnacle event in the British agricultural calendar, the Royal Welsh Show, will be held on 23 - 26 July at the showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells. More details can be found online: www.rwas.wales