Group picture to close off a successful workshop (all photos by Leo Veger)

Regular festival visitors know that while the event day is passing by more and more trash will cover the floor. Heineken, known as one of the largest drinks suppliers at events, wants to invest in sustainable solutions, based on the principles of circularity. That is why they have partnered with WDCD to investigate the development of a new challenge that could lead to more circular solutions for serving drinks at events.
By Rosa Kieft

To map the key issues Heineken and WDCD organized a kick-off workshop during WDCD Live Amsterdam. For the workshop we joined forces with the main stakeholders of the problem: representatives of the drinks industry, festival organizers, municipalities, festival innovators and design thinkers from the creative industry. The goal of the workshop was to start a conversation with all parties involved as equal problem owners and together explore multiple insights, problems and opportunities.

Introduction to the workshop by Heineken’s Jetske Freeve

Experienced event visitors

Especially insightful for the participants was the opportunity to interview experienced event visitors. As one of them stated: ‘I visit a festival to enjoy the music and the company of my friends. When we are in front of the stage with a beer in hand, I usually won’t leave my friends to throw away a cup. First of all because it is too much trouble and therefore a matter of convenience, secondly because I am afraid to lose my friends.’

Bas Raaijmakers
 (STBY) explains the research done for the proposed challenge

These and other insights encouraged the participants to adjust their framing of the problem. One of the ideas proposed was for example to use a role model, someone who can inspire other’s behaviour. Another suggestion was the realization of the value of plastic: ‘Beer is liquid gold; plastic cups are solid gold.’

The workshop was a successful first step in reframing the problem and hopefully a challenge will bring forward potential solutions so that in the near future pictures of festivals won’t be needing Photoshop to show a clean surface. Even when bins are placed all around the festival area and even though festival visitors usually care about environmental responsibility, the plastic carpet at the end of a festival day until now seems unavoidable.