AMBIENT 2019 Frankfurt
Messegelände, Agora + Rolltreppe Halle 3

One of today’s top priorities is environmental protection. This is an extensive area. I focused on a narrow, particular segment when I registered for the Frankfurt AMBIENT 2019 exhibition. In particular, I was interested in how much the protection of the environment is reflected in the product structure of the exhibitors, especially the replacement of plastic products. More precisely: the replacement of plastic straws.

The Frankfurt Trade Fair is a huge area with 12 exhibition halls, each one with a fantastic floor space, occasionally with 4 floors, all of them accessible by internal corridors, escalators and sidewalks, so visitors do not have to go out to the open area, even though it is huge and well organized too. Since at the beginning of February the weather is still cold, there were almost no outdoor exhibitors and other outdoor activities, unlike the events held from late spring to autumn (for example the Prolight between 2-5 April or the Sound and Musicmesse).

Well, I have no good news. The preliminary search with the word “straw” gave a result of just a few dozen of the many exhibitors. Of these, there were only five genuinely interested in replacing the plastic straw, and I only met two exhibitors that offered biodegradable and another kind of straw which does not pollute the environment.

At the same time, an unusual replacement for the plastic straw has also appeared: customised, even labelled, multi-use metal and glass straws to which a small brush, similar to glass washers, is added in the ornate packaging. This with a proper label could also work as a gift. I can imagine how someone in an elegant bar takes a customised silver straw from his pocket and starts sniffing his drink…

AMBIENT 2019 Frankfurt
Photo: AMBIENT 2019 Frankfurt

After going back to the exhibition, it was unfortunate to see that not many products – mostly made in China and the Far East – have shown any environmental awareness at all. I hope that at the AMBIENT 2020 exhibition there will be not only straws but many other products on the shelves of the stands as well, taking environmental protection into account. I would be happy to welcome an exhibition space where only producers and distributors of environmental products exhibit.

Framed writing 1.0: Ambiente – a leading international trade fair

Ambiente is the leading international trade fair and the world’s number one in products associated with dining, cooking, household items, furnishings and ornaments, interior design, gifts, jewellery and fashion accessories.

AMBIENT 2019 FrankfurtIt is “The Show” for the entire industry. The breadth and width of Ambiente make its unique product range unique throughout the world. Ambiente 2019 featured 4,451 exhibitors and attracted 136,000 trade visitors from 166 countries, presenting classic and innovative products over five days. This most critical global consumer goods exhibition offers a wide range of events, programmes for newcomers, trend presentations and award ceremonies, all at the same time.

Framed writing 2.0: Guenter Melchert CEO IMS GmbH said:

I would say the longest route also starts with just the first step. We are happy that we began to replace the Coffee-To-Go-Cups with our fully compostable plant fibre cups made from sugarcane and coated with plant starch or our paper straws. I think we can be proud of our quality. I think with our program we made the first steps in a right direction.


The European Union has set 2020 as the deadline for member states from when they have to recycle half of their total waste. A recent report by the European Commission looked at the current situation, just about a year before the deadline. What they found is pretty depressing and does not reflect well on many countries, including Hungary, read more HERE.

Source: István Zentai

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