Introducing: Oval Green

Today we proudly unveil 'Oval Green' an initiative to transform Oval Space and The Pickle Factory into two of the most environmentally responsible venues in the country. The first step of this, effective today, is the eradication of single-use plastic cups, bottles and wristbands.

At the end of May this year, Oval Space hosted the UK Student Climate Network's Climate Strike Afterparty. Part of the event was the screening of the VICE documentary 'Make The World Greta Again', a short-length film following Greta and the organisers of the school strikes for climate ahead of their first global protest that took place on March 15th, 2019. The film, energy and determination of these brilliant activists both on screen and at the event had a profound effect on us. The following month we hosted another eye-opening event courtesy of Tail & Twist, who flawlessly produced London's first ever 'EcoDisco', demonstrating the feasibility of running a club night without the need for single-use plastic.

In 2019 plastic, and specifically single-use variants, have come under an increasing amount of overdue scrutiny. The figures around plastic are terrifying; consumers in the UK alone use around 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year. In a year where our government has declared a global climate emergency, festivals the size of Glastonbury have banned the sale of single-use plastic bottles, we felt compelled to re-address our own carbon footprint.

From today, both Oval Space and The Pickle Factory will replace all plastic water bottles with Life Water, a zero plastic, BPA free and locally sourced alternative that is fully recyclable. Plastic cups will be replaced with cups made from PLA corn-starch, which is fully compostable and will go into the standard food waste. Customers will also be welcome to bring their own re-usable drinking bottle provided they're empty and not designed for single-use. The effect will be drastic, replacing an average of 60,000 plastic cups and 3,200 single-use plastic water bottles per month. Oval Venues will also be writing to its suppliers, for example beverage wholesalers, to encourage them to stop sending single-use plastic packaging.

Green Tax

Taking this route is expensive, and we can't do this without your help. To afford the cost of these widespread changes to our operations, we'll be introducing a ‘Green Tax’ for all customers who buy tickets to any in-house event at Oval Space or The Pickle Factory. Ticketed events will now be subject to a £1 'Green Tax' fee, whilst corporate venue clients will pay a mandatory flat fee of £75 on top of their regular hire fees. This will go towards biodegradable cups, new combustible waste providers to dispose of the PLA cups in an eco-friendly processing facility, additional cleaning costs and biodegradable wristbands. Any remaining money from your Green Tax will be donated to organisations and charities fighting for a greener future. Until the end of the year, the difference will be split equally and donated to student-led environmental organisation UKSCN and Friends Of The Earth UK.

Today marks a deeply positive change in the way we as a company approach our environmental responsibilities. In the climate crisis now facing us reflection, conversation and change is the only way forward. Therefore we'd love to invite you to get in touch with us via whether you'd like to suggest how we can continue to improve, share best practices with other companies looking to make a similar step, or anything else Oval Green related.