Airport City’s FarFlungFridays street food event becomes UK’s first plastic-free as it hits 10,000 visitors

Airport City Manchester is backing the plastic-free movement with a new initiative at its street food event, FarFlungFridays at Platform – with innovative plant-based eco-friendly packaging and catering equipment replacing all single-use plastic equivalents.

  • Airport City Manchester launches the first single-use plastic free street food event in the UK
  • More than 40 local traders and over 10,000 people have now visited the event, which goes from strength-to-strength

The hugely popular street food market, which takes place at the Platform event space at Airport City, is also celebrating after reaching the 10,000 visitors milestone, since it was launched in February 2017.

The latest FarFlungFriday street food event took place on 28 September – and also featured a number of music acts as part of BBC Music Day.

As part of its new commitment, Airport City Manchester has struck an agreement with eco-friendly packaging firm, Vegware, to recommend the specialist company as a supplier to its traders. Vegware is made from plants, not plastic, using renewable, lower carbon or recycled materials.

With street food traders starting to go single-use plastic free, Airport City Manchester is introducing the environmental pledge by only welcoming vendors who use non-plastic packaging for food and drink and wooden cutlery. 

Airport City will further support the initiative by removing waste from the events in biodegradable bags, which adhere to the airport’s clear bag policy. This activity is part of a wider commitment by Airport City and Manchester Airport to reduce or, in some cases, eliminate the use of plastic. 

A series of focus groups with businesses based at Airport City highlighted their support for the plan, which will take place alongside their own existing initiatives to reduce plastic waste. 

This was followed by consultations with agencies including Environmental Services, street traders, Greater Manchester Police and other members of the Stakeholder Advisory Group at Manchester Airport.

John McHugh, Head of Strategic & Commercial Marketing for Airport City, said:Airport City Manchester is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations. We must all play our part by reducing what we use and recycling and reducing plastics is an important part of this.

"Farflung Fridays at Platform has proven to be a huge success and we hope that by becoming the first plastic-free street food event, others will follow our lead and traders will adopt re-usable packaging, cups and cutlery at every venue they visit.”

Joe Frankel, CEO of Vegware, said: “We’re excited for Vegware to be a part of this event. Disposables are used for such a short time, so it makes sense to switch to renewable materials, reserving conventional plastics for applications where they can’t be easily replaced.

“With a high volume of visitors to Airport City Manchester, we applaud their efforts to showcase plant-based, renewable options to the public. This high-profile public platform is a fantastic way to demonstrate modern possibilities for single-use foodservice packaging.”

The next FarFlungFridays event takes place at Platform Airport City, on Friday 26 October 2018, from 11:30am to 2:00pm.

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