MCEC cracks down on single-use plastics with the help of RMIT students

The venue will look to eliminate unnecessary plastic from its events and cafes.

Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is furthering its commitment to sustainability with a new project to eliminate single-use plastic across the venue.

The centre has partnered with RMIT University students participating in the RMIT Activator’s Impact Academy program to mentor them throughout the multidisciplinary sustainability project.

Under the expert guidance of MCEC sustainability manager Samantha Ferrier, the students will re-think the system to devise a circular-economy solution to remove unnecessary single-use plastic from MCEC’s events and on-site cafes by 2025.

Not only does the partnership provide real-world experience for students, it also demonstrates future career opportunities available in the sustainability field.

“It’s a unique opportunity for industry to solve real challenges by collaborating with university students,” said Ferrier.

“The students are highly self-motivated and passionate and are taught to apply a design and systems thinking approach.

“Our team at MCEC is really excited to see the solutions that the students come up with because eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic is something we’ve been working towards for some time.

“It’s important that the events industry is doing all we can to prevent waste by redesigning the system.”

The six students, who are studying degrees in marketing, economics and finance or information systems, have received the program well.

“This program has helped me to discover that there are niche roles in every business, alike to Sam’s role of head of sustainability,” said participant Keeley Trifunovich.

The partnership joins a series of sustainability initiatives that have been in place at MCEC for some years, including partnerships with OzHarvest, The Sustainable Coffee Company and the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

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