Big Fat Zero-Waste Wedding

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Big Fat Zero-Waste Wedding

Indian weddings are known for their grandeur. Amidst all the celebrations & extravagant spending, a lot of waste is produced with respect to food as well as single-use utensils & decorations. As a result, weddings have a sizeable detrimental impact on the environment.   To reduce their environmental footprint, Shruti and Vikrant chose to have a zero-waste wedding. Keeping this in mind, Saahas Zero Waste, along with Atulya Weddings organized a zero-waste celebration for them on 14th and 15th of December 2019 in Bengaluru. The main objective was to conduct the wedding in a way that is as environmentally conscious as possible.   We worked together for 15 days prior to the event to minimize the waste generated, and to manage the rest in a sustainable way. Several single-use items were eliminated while including new environment friendly practices.

Best Practices During the Wedding

  • Eliminated use of single use materials like paper cups, tissue papers etc.
  • Bin to bin system and bin to bag system for wet waste avoiding the use of bin liners
  • Use of natural and reusable decor and signage
  • Waste was collected in reusable and recyclable HDPE bags
  • Reusable cutlery and banana leaves were used to serve the food
  • Hand towels were used instead of tissue papers
  • Jute bags were used for gifting
  • Ensured 100% waste segregation at the source
  • Flower waste from the wedding was stored separately and sent for making organic colours
  • Wet (food) waste was sent to a bio-gas plant
  • Dry waste was sent for recycling/co-processing.

Waste Analysis Report

Table 1: Total Quantity of waste generated at the Zero waste wedding event   
Waste streams Quantity of waste generated (in kg)
Wet waste 710
Flower waste 40
Dry waste 159
Rejects 61
Total 970
  The waste collected during the zero-waste wedding primarily comprised the following:
  • Biscuit/chips/chocolate wrappers
  • Paper roll
  • Aluminium foil
  • Food waste
  • Banana leaves.

Execution of Operation

Manpower Deployment

The SZW team that enabled the implementation of the operation comprised of:  
  • Core team members: 3
  • Field staff deployed: 5

Waste Collection

  • Ensured 100% waste segregation at the source
  • Waste was collected in reusable and recyclable HDPE bags
  • Waste collected per location was aggregated at one point
  • Flower waste from the wedding was stored separately
  • One vehicle was deployed at the spot each day for transporting waste from event to authorised end destination.

End Destination & Processing

  • Dry waste was transported to SZW’s Material recovery facility, where it was secondary sorted into different categories
  • Each category is then baled and aggregated. Upon attaining a certain tonnage, each stream of dry waste is sent to the respective authorized end destination for recycling
  • Wet waste was sent to BBMP authorised bio-methanation plant.
  Flower waste from the wedding was sent to a peer organisation to be used for making organic colour.


Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of ensuring waste is managed sustainably is as follows:
  • 909 kg of waste was diverted from the landfill to be recycled or co-processed
  • 2.65 metric tons of CO2 emissions were averted from being released into the atmosphere
Thus, we could avert emissions equivalent to 10583km driven by a passenger vehicle or 1324 kg of coal burned.  

Social Impact

All field staff and supervisors at Saahas Zero Waste are full-time employees of the organization, on our payroll, and are paid minimum wages. There were 5 field staff present on-site during the event. 3 field staff were involved in real-time segregation and handling the waste generated during the event. 2 field staff were involved in washing the utensils. All of them are compensated with minimum wages and overtime charges, provided employment benefits as well as safe and dignified working conditions. Hence, Atulya Weddings & Events can be rest assured that the services provided by SZW are socially ethical.  
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