Family Camp – Let’s Do It The Old Way!


WHAT will be done


During the Summer, Christmas and other campings we use reusable mestins and cutlery and we kept with this tradition as these are included in the equipment list provided to all members.

We asked ourselves as leaders, how we could start reducing waste during our activities – mainly plastic waste was being generated. We have seen that we use disposable cutlery during Family Camps which was generating plastic waste which goes directly to the landfill as people discard it in the black bag, as it is not cleaned. Therefore the cutlery was not being washed and recycled. This caused a problem to the organisers as black bags cannot be discarded anymore in the green skips (which were removed this year) but have to take them to HQ or at their house to take them out on the actual collection date by local councils.

We were thinking for a greener alternative, by using cutlery made of PLA (Polylactic acid) material which is compostable instead of plastic. After doing some research it was found that this material cannot decompose in the compost bin found in our campsite. Therefore this idea was scrapped.

We checked our disposable cutlery stock and noticed that we had a huge amount of disposable cutlery, cups and other few disposable plates. Obviously we had to use them until we phase them out. Plastic straws were given to someone else as these became prohibited in the campsite. We took a stock taking of all different types of cutlery we had so we know how much we had.

As a starter, vegetable soup was made, and we had no bowls or plates adequate for soup. So we ended up buying very few disposable bowls and made sure we buy them made of 100% carton material without any plastic film as we were tight with time.

We had re-usable cutlery at the campsite and few glass/ceramic/pyrex plates which were cleaned for use on the next Family Camp.

Last few remaining polystyrene cups were going to be used for tea/coffee.

On 6-Apr-2019 we had a Family Camp, we informed parents beforehand to bring their own cutlery for the first time for such activity.

On that day there were 3 groups of people who:
1) did not bring their own cutlery;
2) there were others who brought re-usable cutlery; and
3) others brought their own disposable cutlery.

For Group (1), we provided from the remaining plastic cups, the 100% carton bowl plate for starter and glass/ceramic/pyrex plates for the main course. These people felt some kind of peer pressure from Group 2 as they were in minority.

For Group (2), we thanked them for bringing their own cutlery and for initiating this change. This group was the bigger group of all. We had a good feedback overall after this activity and surely will keep it this way.

For Group (3), we encouraged them to use re-usable cutlery for next time. These people felt some kind of peer pressure from Group 2 as they were in minority similar to Group 1.

People who used our re-usable plates needed to be washed and dried with a tea cloth. In fact for next time we need to have this better organised as we had only one available for 100 people. As well people needed to be directed where to leave the dried plates. Some people just left it on the table.

People who used 100% carton plates were told to discard in the compost bin.

After this event we started to organise the re-usable cutlery, made stock taking of what we have and of the remaining disposable cutlery that we still need to phase out during other activities. No more plastic straws, plastic and polystyrene cups are still available at the campsite and were phased out.

The above was totally a shift in how we organise our activities which impacts our family members, youth, the organisers and future generations and the environment. Surely it was a cost saving measure since going forward we will try to reach the Zero disposable cutlery waste target when doing the Family Camp. That is why we should do it The Old Way 🙂 since no disposable material was used around 10 years ago.

During EWWR, photos of this action will be shared within our facebook page (for all parents and our members) and with all 8000 scout members through Scoutkeeper to create further awareness and the importance of not littering outside.


WHERE it will take place




Triq il-Qrejzu
BKR 2153

Action Developer

WHO will run the show


1st Birkirkara Scout Group
# Association/NGO

How can you get in contact:
You can contact us through e-mail on or join us in the facebook page.


will it happen?

Dates of the proposed action:

16/11/2019, 17/11/2019, 18/11/2019, 19/11/2019, 20/11/2019, 21/11/2019, 22/11/2019, 23/11/2019, 24/11/2019


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