A living room design showcased at Grand designs Live

Grand Designs Live free tickets for supporters

Grand Designs Live 2018 is getting tough on plastic pollution. Find out how you can attend for free and meet the Friends of the Earth team.
  Published:  03 May 2018    |      Last updated:  25 Sep 2018    |      5 minute read

Kevin McCloud – the face of Channel 4's dream-home series Grand Designs – presents this autumn's live show at Birmingham NEC. It runs from 10-14 October 2018.

In response to the global plastic crisis, the "home show on a grand scale" is banning plastic bottles, straws, cups and cutlery. It will ask people to fill reusable water bottles from The Oak Kitchen.

Friends of the Earth is the official charity partner of Grand Designs Live 2018. Pop by and say hi to the team. We'll be giving advice about going plastic free at home and on the move.

Innovative design can play a huge part in creating alternative solutions that work for people and the environment, which is why we’re excited to be partnering with Grand Designs Live.

Friends of the Earth Executive Director Craig Bennett

How can I get free tickets to Grand Designs Live?

As a special thank you, Grand Designs Live free tickets are available to all our supporters. Claim your free spot now.

Want to become a Friends of the Earth supporter and help us tackle plastic pollution? Join up today.

Kevin McCloud presenting at Grand Designs Live
Kevin McCloud presenting at Grand Designs Live

What is Grand Designs Live?

It's a live version of the hugely successful Channel 4 programme Grand Designs, presented by Kevin McCloud.

The live event is split into 6 zones where you can browse the latest trends for the home:

  1. Gardens
  2. Interiors
  3. Kitchens & bathrooms
  4. Build
  5. Technology
  6. Design arcade

As well as marveling at the exhibition, you can:

  • Get top expert advice for your own grand plans.
  • Discover fantastic designs that are easy to recreate.
  • Purchase unique and sustainable salvaged pieces for your home.
  • Meet Kevin McCloud live on stage at the popular Grand Theatre.

What will Friends of the Earth be doing at Grand Designs Live?

We'll be helping people cut throw-away plastic out of their lives – and asking them to take part in our Plastic Free Friday challenge. Come and chat to us about our plastics campaign. And our exclusive water bottles will be on sale for at the Oak Kitchen, where you can also get free water refills.

The popular Grand Theatre is one of the main highlights of the Birmingham event. We're excited to be taking part in a discussion about clever design and environmental solutions. We'd love to see you there:

Why is Grand Designs Live focusing on plastic?

There's huge public support for tackling the plastic that is polluting our soils and seas – harming our dolphins, turtles and other wildlife. Every minute a truck load of our plastic enters the oceans. Sea creatures can get tangled up in it or mistake it for food.

The unaltered stomach contents of a dead albatross chick include plastic marine debris fed the chick by its parents
Plastic marine debris in the stomach contents of a dead albatross chick.
Credit: Chris Jordan

People were already aware of the problem, even before David Attenborough warned Blue Planet II viewers about the plastic pollution building up in the natural environment.

Grand Designs Live wants to help tackle the plastic crisis through inspiring eco-friendly design, raising awareness and taking action to reduce its own impact.

At this year's show it is cutting out all sales of plastic bottles and cutlery, replacing them with biodegradable alternatives. Visitors will be able to purchase refillable bottles – or bring their own reusable drinking vessels. Water points are available at the The Oak Kitchen.

By inviting Friends of the Earth to be its official charity partner, the show is demonstrating its commitment to help end plastic pollution. Together with our supporters – and our strong network of local groups spanning the country – we're campaigning for a complete phase-out of all but the most essential plastics.

What is Friends of the Earth doing about plastic pollution?

When it comes to waste and recycling, we've got a pretty good track record. It was a Friends of the Earth campaign that brought doorstep recycling to every home in the UK. We made recycling not just a household word, but a household habit.

But recycling won't solve the plastic crisis we're facing. Only a small percentage of the plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. The majority has ended up in our soil, sea and general environment. And most plastics can only be recycled a handful of times before they become unusable.

Ultimately the only long-term solution is a complete phase-out of plastic for all but the most essential uses. At the moment, many people are unaware that tiny pieces of plastic can be in products like clothes and cosmetics. And some of these are ending up in our seas.

So we're calling on the government to get serious about non-essential plastic waste. We want to see an action plan covering all plastic-polluting sectors. You can help by signing our petition.

We're also helping people reduce the amount of plastic in their homes – from the bathroom to the garden.

If you'd like to cut down on your plastic legacy, take part in Friends of the Earth's Plastic Free Friday challenge.