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Going Green in Rotterdam

14 May 2021 at 15:47 CEST
Samanta Tīna, Latvia, First Rehearsal, Rotterdam Ahoy, 11 May 2021 EBU / Thomas Hanses
Host Broadcasters NPO/NOS/AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam have undertaken the challenge to design the most environmentally conscious Eurovision to date, a model for sustainability that can be an inspiration for Contests to come.

Using Dutch innovation, Rotterdam is on its way to a future without waste:

‘We want to show every inhabitant of Rotterdam, visitor and viewer of the Eurovision Song Contest that we, as Host City, take our responsibility for sustainability seriously. We want to set an example for the rest of the world, ’ explained a Host City representative.

As visitors arrive by train at Central Station, they’ll be greeted with the first of many sustainable nods to Eurovision. There, a four-meter-high, 3D-printed statue of the Contest’s trophy tells the story of Rotterdam’s commitment to clean water and fewer plastics.

Watch: From Trash to Trophy

The plastic materials to build the sculpture were collected from the waterways using a variety of water bikes and electric boats with built-in waste collection systems. After the Contest, the gigantic trophy will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to RanMarine, a Rotterdam-based organisation born out of a desire to improve the well-being of the world’s oceans and waterways.

The cancellation of the 2020 Contest presented unique opportunities to take the Host City’s commitment to reuse materials to creative, new heights. For example: over 6,000 tote bags printed for last year’s Contest have been upcycled under the direction of esteemed embroidery artist Maarten Bel.

The city itself is adorned in colourful Eurovision lyrics created from old national flags and other recycled materials, and once the Contest is over, the flags and banners will be recycled into new plastic products.

Annemieke van Wegen-Delhaas, Project Manager for City Branding and City Dressing:

'With our beautiful city dressing, we will show every Rotterdam resident, visitor and viewer that Rotterdam is a pioneer in the field of circularity. With this, we want to be an example to the rest of the world.'

Inside the venue, the Host Broadcaster has extended this commitment to limiting plastic waste by installing refillable water stations around Rotterdam Ahoy and providing Eurovision 2021 water bottles by Join the Pipe (the world’s first community of tap water drinkers), a manufacturer with a commitment to a world with less plastic waste.

Fresh water, Ope Up, Rotterdam Ahoy 12 May 2021 EBU / Andres Putting

With innovation at the forefront of this years’ festival, Rotterdam is certainly setting the stage for future green Contests to come.