Spring is at the door and Open Kitchen is getting ready to enter the new season on Friday, March 20, at Pogačar Square in Ljubljana. And, being an open-air event, is not covered by the official ban on indoor events with more than 500 people.
The new season of Open Kitchen aims to be plastic free, introducing instead biodegradable and recyclable food and drink containers. Visitors will also be encouraged to bring their own reusable equipment with them. “We have already introduced many measures that contribute to the sustainability of the event in previous years, but now we are going to the end. As the biggest culinary event and one of the most visited tourist attractions, we want to act as initiators of sustainable public events,” announced, Open Kitchen co-founders Alma and Lior Kochavy in a press release before the start of the new season.
The Open Kitchen events in Slovenia are visited by hundreds of thousands of people each season, who together enjoy to a million servings of food. Plates, bowls, knives, forks and spoons have been made of biodegradable materials for several years now, thus saving us an environmental burden of millions of pieces of plastic. In order to reduce the environmental impact of the Open Kitchen even more, a great deal of attention has been paid to the proper segregation of waste. In Ljubljana, Open Kitchen cooperates with the consultants from Voka Snaga, while Slovenian Philanthropy takes over unused ingredients and dishes after every event in the capital, and distributes them to those in need. In Celje food surpluses are taken care of by Socio Institute.
In addition to the complete elimination of plastics, another innovation is being prepared for this year, a green stall where visitors will be able to buy containers, accessories and other reusable food and storage related items. “When we started the Open Kitchen eight years ago, we begun with an idea that visitors of the event could get home-cooked food, thus relieving themselves from cooking for the weekend. The new offer of reusable packaging will make it even easier,” said Alma Kochavy.
Waste from the Open Kitchen, which mostly consists of biodegradables, will be handled by the Ljubljana Regional Waste Management Center (RCERO Ljubljana). Utilizing state-of-the-art and sustainable waste management technology on a European scale, waste will be reclaimed there for compost, electricity and heat. In other cities where Open Kitchen is hosted, further waste treatment is carried out in collaboration with local utilities and collection centers.