Glastonbury Festival may be the largest greenfield festival site, but it is still a working farm. Owners Michael and Emily Eavis care about the environment with a passion. Following every festival, considerable donations are given to Greenpeace, along with Oxfam and WaterAid.
Over the years, they have implemented a number of initiatives to reduce festival waste, yet there are still significant volumes of litter left behind. In 2017, the clean-up operation took 6 weeks and cost a staggering £800,000.
One Million Plastic Bottles in a Weekend
This year, Glastonbury set up the ‘Love Worthy Farm, Leave No Trace’ campaign. Everyone who purchased a ticket had to sign a pledge. This included a commitment to use the available recycling bins correctly, bring a reusable water bottle and avoid using any single-use plastic. In addition, every effort was made to ensure that the event was plastic-free. As an example, all food and drink vendors had to use compostable containers, plates, cups and cutlery.
On a hot and sunny weekend, it is estimated that their actions prevented around a million plastic water bottles from being used. What is more, it resulted in the surprise appearance of a world-leading icon on the Pyramid Stage – Sir David Attenborough. He applauded the organisers and festival goers for their actions to reduce the environmental impact of such events.
Although these measures are a huge step in the right direction, it is disappointing to see images of the aftermath. Even a visit from Sir David Attenborough has not inspired all to follow the pledge and act responsibly. This week, a thousand volunteers have been cleaning up the mess and correctly disposing of any recyclable rubbish.
How to be a Responsible Festival Goer
If you are heading to a festival this summer, be conscious of your impact. At the very least, take reusable bottles for drinks and use bins or take rubbish home with you. If you are looking for a single-use tent, you can even opt for a corrugated cardboard KarTent, which is fully recyclable and sufficiently robust to remain intact, even if it rains.
If you are a festival food provider, Aylesbury Box Company can provide plain or printed sustainable packaging. Flat packed and easy to assemble, our strong corrugated cardboard food trays help to keep hot food warm. We can help you to switch from polystyrene or plastic, to corrugated cardboard, without compromising on quality.
Wimbledon Serves Recycling Message
Another global event is currently taking place in the UK. Thousands of tennis fans have gathered in Wimbledon to watch world leaders compete. With Evian as the main sponsor, it is more of a challenge for this event to go plastic free. However, Evian is trialling a bottle which is made from 100% recycled plastic at the event.
The leading manufacturer of bottled water is aiming to use no virgin plastic in any packaging by 2025 and Wimbledon is the first major trial of their latest innovation. They are also printing ‘I Recycle’ on all bottles which will be used by tennis players on court. Have you spotted this?
In addition, organisers have installed recycling bins around the London site and ‘Eco-champions’ have been employed to encourage visitors to use the right bins for their waste.
Whether your chosen spectator sport is tennis, horse racing, cricket, cycling or women’s football, make it your aim to put litter pickers out of a job!