Ahead of this week's Summer Outdoor Retailer trade show, the world's largest outdoor sports trade show and gathering, a group of more than 200 companies joined the Plastic Impact Alliance to reject the industry's use of single-use plastics such as disposable cups and plates. Partnering with the expo, the companies that form the Alliance have pledged to provide reusable bottles, cups, and water stations at their booths.
Just last week, Outdoor Retailer announced that they were partnering with Nalgene to provide every convention attendee with a 32-ounce reusable water bottle. Other manufacturers that plan on attending the conference have committed to donating 100 or more bottles to The Alliance in support as well.
As a proud member of the Plastic Impact Alliance, SKI Magazine is dedicated to joining hundreds of outdoor companies in the fight against plastic pollution and climate change. The evidence is overwhelming: climate change is a direct threat to the very existence of the sport that we all love. Joining the Plastic Impact Alliance is one step SKI is taking to preserve the snow-filled world that we love.
The good news is that Outdoor Retailer has already eliminated the sale of single-use plastic bottles during the convention, pledged to offer reusable cups at every coffee station, and promised not to use single-use aisle carpet. The Plastic Impact Alliance, in partnership with the trade show, hopes to make the outdoor industry gathering into the first trade show in the U.S. to ban single-use plastic and move towards zero waste. Instead of using these harmful plastics, Outdoor Retailer will host more than 30 of its own water stations, provide signage for these stations, and retrofit all of the water fountains at the convention center with water bottle fillers. To evaluate these efforts, the trade show has partnered with two agencies on a thorough sustainability audit, from which they plan to set benchmarks moving forward.
The Plastic Impact Alliance is about more than just single-use plastics at Outdoor Retailer. It's about an entire industry coming together to tackle a bigger issue: climate change. Kristin Hostetter, the editor-in-chief of SKI's sister publications SNEWS, The Voice, and one of the founders of the Plastic Impact Alliance, says that so many outdoor brands have been doing positive work around sustainability and climate change.
What are the next steps? Instead of a few industry events a year, the members of the Plastic Impact Alliance can share this advocacy with their millions upon millions of consumers, and start a collaborative social push to make the world just a little greener.