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Sustainability initiative set to eliminate up to 20,000 coffee cups at Hair Expo Australia’s 2018 event

Hair Expo and Sustainable Salons have announced the next phase of their combined initiative that aims to ensure a sustainable salon industry. Hair Expo will enlist coffee cup recycling organisation Simply Cups at its 2018 edition in Melbourne, in an effort to eliminate some 20,000 beverage containers that are discarded over the course of the three-day event.

“We are proud to take the first steps to ensuring a sustainable Hair Expo event in partnership with Sustainable Salons” said Cory Watson, Event Director for Hair Expo Australia. “Ensuring thousands of coffee cups don’t end up in landfill is a hugely impactful way that we can move toward our goal of being a more environmentally friendly event by 2020.”

The findings of a comprehensive audit report by Sustainable Salons at Hair Expo 2017 found discarded beverage containers to be one of the main contributors to waste output at the expo, and suggested several recommendations for reducing one-use beverage containers. Simply Cups is Australia’s first coffee cup recycling program which collects coffee cups for recycling that would otherwise end up in landfill. The organisation has recently partnered with 7-Eleven and Qantas Business Rewards.

“We all know hairdressers are fuelled by coffee, but this is an issue that affects more than just the salon industry,” said Paul Frasca, Sustainable Salons Co-founder and MD. “While this step will eliminate unnecessary landfill, it will also be an important example of how one group of people can have an immediate impact when they decide to take a stand. We’re so excited to show the community that hairdressers care about their footprint even when they’re away from the salon… and that we’re doers!”

Visitors to Hair Expo, which this year takes place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), can keep an eye out for Simply Cups’ green collection tubes on the show floor where any paper cup can be placed for recycling (lids can be separated and placed into venue recycling bins). The organisation then takes the cups away to storage facilities, where they will be recycled responsibly.

“It’s very exciting to see Hair Expo Australia implement our Simply Cups coffee cup collection program at this year’s event because it helps generate awareness within the passionate and influential hair and beauty industry. Hair Expo along with Sustainable Salons are really leading the charge for events in this space, and their participation shows just how committed the expo is to building a more sustainable Australia”, said Rupert Plumridge, Account Manager at Closed Loop which runs the Simply Cups initiative.

Other initiatives that Hair Expo has committed to for its 2018 event include the distribution of sustainability tips from Sustainable Salons to exhibitors, to assist them in reducing their environmental footprint in their stand fit-out, marketing and other activities. The MCEC will also

have dedicated bulk materials separation bins in the ‘back of house’ at the event for exhibitors to discard bulk rubbish and recyclables responsibly.

Sustainable Salons will be providing separation bins to exhibitors to dispose of materials like hair from cutting demonstrations; and product packaging like spray cans, styling bottles, foil, and other materials. The contents of the bins will be repurposed by Sustainable Salons following Hair Expo, with the proceeds from repurposing going to Australian charity, OzHarvest.

These initiatives are the next phase of Sustainable Salons and Hair Expo’s partnership, which was piloted at Hair Expo’s 2017 event in Sydney. The partnership outlines a three-year plan that benefits the three tiers of sustainability – People, Planet and the Future of the salon industry.

Hair Expo Australia 2018 takes place at the MCEC from Saturday 9 to Monday 11 June. Visit www.hairexpoaustralia.com for more information.

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