World first reusable zero waste exhibition stand made from event waste carpet unveiled at The Meetings Show

A world first zero waste, reusable exhibition stand made from event waste carpet made its global debut at The Meetings Show last week.

Thanks to a collaboration between creator Paradigm and partners isla, The Bulb, Informa, and The Meetings Show, a prototype of the innovative reusable zero-waste stand was revealed to the world’s meetings and events community at ExCeL London, and hundreds of event professionals came to see it in action. 

The walls and floor of the truly circular and sustainable stand are built out of Reform, a ‘game-changing’ recycled plastic tile made from old exhibition carpet, with the flooring made using post-consumer ocean plastic fabricated using renewable electricity in the UK. The substructure of the stand is built out of repurposed metal from disused shell scheme, meaning the structure of the stand is made from 100% post-consumer materials.

Further consideration has been taken to ensure no toxic impacts from paints and glues, and there is no miscellaneous waste from screws and nails, as Reform tiles simply click together by hand, and can be rolled up like carpet at the end of a show, ready to be reused. Additionally, thanks to their durability and robustness, no protective single-use plastic pallet wrap is required to protect the stand during transit.

As part of the end of life-management, the tiles are reformed in-house by Paradigm’s granulator, ensuring a closed-loop recycling system.

Creator Lee Cooper of Paradigm designed the curved stand to represent the circular economy. He said: “Traditionally, there’s been a stigma that sustainable stands are compromised by their design and quality, particularly for smaller stands and shell-scheme. Until recently, the options have been largely limited to recycled cardboard and using unfinished ply and pallets for furniture, which is a very specific aesthetic. However, with Paradigm’s approach, this is no longer the case. We’re using end-of-life event materials to offer an alternative solution with circularity at the core – and it looks amazing.”

Beyond its sustainability credentials, the new stand is also efficiently designed to ensure that all exhibitors have lockable storage, while effective cable-management is designed to provide flexibility and accessible power arrangements for exhibitors. The structure is so simple it can be rigged and de-rigged in just two hours. Similarly, because the stands are lightweight and pack down to a small size, transport, installation and storage costs are cheaper.

Anna Abdelnoor, isla’s founder and CEO, said: “This is an exciting innovation for the events industry, showcasing the power of experimentation and creativity when developing approaches to reducing waste, carbon and impact on the planet. We love that the stand was designed with a circularity first mindset and centres around diverting materials from waste and finding new ways to keep them alive and within events. We’re proud to be able to support innovation and creativity within the event sector and we hope this stand inspires others to keep creating and experimenting, to ensure industry dialogue remains forward-looking and to help bring solutions into our fantastic industry”.

The Bulb’s CEO and founder Selina Donald agrees. She said: “Developing and using sustainable alternatives should become the norm for anyone involved in the exhibition and events world. Exhibitions need to evolve, and Paradigm’s innovative solution is proof that sustainability and creativity can go hand in hand and, most importantly, can be People and Planet focused.”

As one of a dozen organisers developing and piloting the Better Stands framework, an initiative that celebrates exhibitors who choose reusable, sustainable stands, Ben Wielgus, Informa’s head of sustainability, highlights the potential for new solutions in the industry.

He said: “This fully circular booth, in both form and manufacturing, is a really exciting addition to the choices that exhibitors have. It’s a great example of innovation in the reusable stands space and testament to the idea that there’s tonnes of commercial opportunity for stand builders when it comes to reusable solutions whilst giving a great platform for exhibitors to promote their brand on a turnkey solution”

Jack Marczewski, portfolio event director, Northstar Meetings Group, said: “We’re delighted to have provided a platform to showcase Paradigm’s innovative stand. As part of our ongoing commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050, we’re keen to facilitate and champion positive change among our supply chain and exhibitors. We also continue benchmarking and measuring to implement short—and long-term targets to improve our sustainability performance.”

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