The Belfast Continental Market is an event that always draws traders from all over Europe and most of the rest of the world, and this year’s Market proved its greatest success so far.  The usual and the unusual in food, drinks and crafts were on display, and the Christmas theme added to the festive atmosphere and the visitors’ enjoyment.  Held at Belfast City Hall, it’s something that many people return to year after year.

This year the Belfast City Council and Marketplace Europe worked together to make the event especially green.  Director of Marketplace Europe Allan Hartwell said that his company is dedicated to making sure that their markets are aware of the impact they make on the local environment.  He said traders were happy to join up with the European Week for Waste Reduction campaign, and that the results were very satisfying.

The campaign was taken to the Continental Market in the form of recyclable packaging and special bins for disposal of different types of re-usable waste, including uneaten food.

Ian Adamson, chairman of Belfast’s Health and Environmental Services Committee, was delighted with the efforts and enthusiasm of both traders and visitors to the Market, and said he hopes this will encourage even more efforts, and more success.

According to reports, this year’s Market set a record for recycling at the event, up 37% from last year to about 42%.  Councillor Adamson also said that the residents of Belfast are on the job, reaching a 32% recycling rate over the last year.  However, there is much more that they can do, he said.  A food waste campaign was launched this year to inform the public about just how much food they waste, which is a remarkable amount actually.

Adamson also noted the additional waste that is always produced around Christmastime, what with all the feasting and unwrapping of gifts.  He says that 75% of that used paper and unwanted food can be recycled, as well as most of the other Christmas detritus, excepting glitter and foil.

By Alan