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 partnering with RMIT University students participating in the RMIT Activator’s Impact Academy program to mentor them in a multidisciplinary sustainability project that aims to eliminate problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic from MCEC’s events and onsite cafes by 2025.

A key aspect of the challenge was to apply a circular economy approach to developing a solution, in that they had to re-think the system to design out waste and keep materials and products in use.

MCEC sustainability manager, Samantha Ferrier, said the initiative is a unique opportunity for industry to solve real challenges by collaborating with university students.

“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 are studying degrees in marketing, economics and finance or information systems.

Julie Stevens, partnerships manager at RMIT Activator, said: “Impact Academy is beneficial for both businesses and students and can make a positive difference to our future workforce. Students gain valuable experience working with real industry challenges and developing professional skills in a real world setting while completing their university studies.

The ‘RMIT Impact Academy’ is designed to deliver solutions for a sustainable future by connecting students with industry projects within a simulated modern work environment.

It runs each university semester and is currently recruiting students and industry delivery partners aligned to emerging tech for good, social impact and education futures.

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