Ellerslie Event Centre is leading by example to mark World Environment Day today by seating its guests on chairs covered in 100 percent recycled fabric made from used plastic bottles.
The event centre, which has recently taken delivery of 1,500 chairs covered in REPREVE® fabric, is one of the first in New Zealand to make use of the recently available material. The fabric uses recycled polyester made from old plastic bottles.
The United Nations “Beat Plastic Pollution”, is a call to action for people throughout the world to come together to combat one of the defining environmental challenges of our time. Part of the theme is to invite businesses to make changes to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on the planet.
Ellerslie Event Centre executive general manager hospitality & events Craig Fenwick says the chairs were chosen, out of many, for their sustainability benefits. “They meet all our other criteria such as price, comfort, weight and stack-ability. However, we could have gone for any fabric, but we specifically chose this one because of the sustainability factor.
“The chair itself is also designed to be reusable – the upholstered seat pads and the plastic components can all be replaced easily with new colours so as changes happen to the décor of the facility, we can update the furniture without having to buy new chairs. Almost all of the chair surface can be recoloured to suit any environment or function,” Fenwick says.
The chairs were sourced from Titan Furniture in Avondale and are expected to last for at least 10 years.
The fabric is made in England and has only recently become available in New Zealand. It takes 22 500ml plastic bottles to make one metre of fabric. This is possible because the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) has the same chemistry as polyester.
Using REPREVE® fabric is a valuable way to make a significant impact on the number of plastic bottles ending up in landfill. The process not only finds new life for recycled materials, but compared to making what is called virgin fibre, making REPREVE offsets using new petroleum emits fewer greenhouse gases and conserves water and energy in the process.
Over five billion bottles have been transformed into REPREVE® fabric around the world.
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand chief executive Sue Sullivan says “One of the factors that makes New Zealand a desirable location for event organisers is our ability to innovate and meet the growing demand to provide venues that are looking to minimise their environmental impact and Ellerslie Event Centre’s recycled chairs bring this to life perfectly.”
Ellerslie Event Centre is committed to sustainability which is reflected throughout its facilities.
The venue’s kitchen waste is turned into a liquid format through the new digester technology which is safe for drains and sewers, saving on both waste going to landfill and having trucks on the road.
“Recycling is also a major focus in our organisation,” says Craig. “We have recently replaced our plastic cups with quality reusable plastic glassware – purely because we want to reduce quantities of what may otherwise be destined for the landfill.”
Photo: Ellerslie Event Centre executive general manager hospitality & events Craig Fenwick with the new chairs.