P.A.I.N. Solutions Toolkit

NOTE - This 'Solutions Toolkit' is geared towards arts organisations, institutions, festivals and events and offers guidance and solutions for how to continue your activity without using so-called disposable or “single- use” plastic. There are different areas where single-use plastic raises its ugly head: packaging of brochures, outdoor banners, cable- ties used by technicians... but by far the largest culprit is in water consumption, catering and waste. That is therefore the focus of this toolkit. Solutions DO exist for all other fields of your practice too: please do your own research!

You can also home-print Solutions Toolkit pamphlet here

Plastic waste is causing extreme environmental damage and is a threat to all living creatures, including humans. It is part of a growing climate catastrophe - an emergency requiring immediate action. Plastic pollution needs to stop.

Even if plastic recycling happens, it’s never enough. Most plastic cannot be recycled efficiently, and in many countries today it mostly ends up being burned or discarded.
It is always better and more important to aim for a reduction of plastic use to zero than focusing on what will happen to those plastics at the end of their lifecycle. That’s where we can make a difference and build practices that will impact first our communities and, later, the industries producing plastic.
Our purchase choices are the most powerful way to influence positive change. Let’s immediately stop single- use plastic consumption across all layers of our organisations.

Hospitality is a big part of the arts field. There are always guests, hosts, collaborations and one-time stands: artists, producers, crew, curators and thinkers travel and are hosted at speed. We should also consider ongoing daily host practices within institutions.
To make a difference, all hosting practices that include single-use plastic must change now. This tool is proposing solutions for the main areas to do with hosting: water consumption, catering and waste.

Apply these suggestions; communicate them properly to your staff, visiting guests and audiences - and help us build a new status quo.

What To Do About Water

Avoid plastic-bottled water at all costs!

Use tap water and provide all working spaces with water jugs and reusable glasses.

Please also clearly communicate to your staff that your institution is boycotting plastic-bottled water and promote the use of personal water bottles.

If artists, producers, crew and guests are warned in advance, they will be happy to arrive prepared.

If tap water is not a viable option, please privilege the choice of a water dispenser with paper cups.

Apply these rules to your bar and events. Never sell or provide plastic-bottled water for any reason inside your institution, festival and collaborating venues. It’s gross. Also bear in mind that selling water for profit is deeply uncivilized.

If you run into higher maintenance costs because of your choice of avoiding bottled water, apply a fair, simple and well-communicated break-even price!

What To Do About Catering

Always privilege the use of ceramic plates, metal cutlery and real glasses in all working spaces.

If for some reason this really is not possible, approach the following solutions IN THIS ORDER OF PREFERENCE:

1. Ask your visiting artists, crew and guests to bring their own! You may be surprised how positive the reactions are.

2. Choose dishware made of non-plastic materials, with high biodegradable rates.

3. Look for solutions made of Mater-Bi, cardboard, palm leafs or bioplastics (PLA). This is NOT an ideal solution, but still a lot better than single-use plastic! A good supplier for bulk orders in the north of Europe can be bioFutura, a company based in the Netherlands.**

N.B. - ALWAYS AVOID PLASTIC STRAWS - No one needs them and they are the enemy! If your cocktails can’t be without - purchase only biodegradable ones.

What To Do About Waste

Clearly communicate the local recycling policy to all visiting audiences and collaborators.

Make sure recycling bins are not only placed in your institution administration and technical office spaces but also in foyers, backstage areas, dressing rooms and places of accommodation.

When renting or collaborating with venues not directly managed by your institution (hotels, bnbs, secondary venues) please do the same and take the related logistic aspects into account. Choose only partners who are willing to work with you on this.

If your local municipality does not recycle organic waste, get ahead of the crowd! Set up your own bins and spread the loving nutritious compost among your plant-kinky employees!

What Do We Always Forget


From institutions to audiences, from hospitality to production, visiting artists and their crews, from venues directors to other venue directors, between curators and their own team.... All these channels need to be aware: carefully informed and enthusiastically involved.

Always communicate clearly the steps your organisation is taking in the direction of plastic consumption. Don't be afraid of repetition and don't be shy about asking your audiences and visitors to collaborate with you on your effort.

Careful to be clear! Make sure relevant information is available on time. Never take for granted that written information will be understood by everyone. Be prepared to explain further, to question and to debate.

Care for your team, your partners and your community at all levels and bring them on board!

**Note for Ambassadors on other continents - please communicate any findings to us and we will update the supply advice!