Glasto’ Went Plastic Free!
After a years break, Glastonbury Festival is back! Glastonbury is one of the worlds most highly anticipated music festivals, and a by a mile, the UK’s largest and most largely attended festival. Excluding 2018, for 49 years, thousands of festival-goers across the country and even the world, have pilgrimaged to Pilton Farm in Somerset, for 5-days of music, carnage, joy, to meet new people, but most importantly, to have the time of their life. Anyone who has ever been to a good festival knows that it’s hard to say anything negative about their experience (maybe except the mud if it rains), however, festivals often can have a negative effect on the environment. This is due to the mass use of plastic used for drinking cups, bottles, wrappers, food, and more. Most of this waste is sent to landfill, swept away in the wind, or even left at the festival site.
Glastonbury is a festival that is well-known for promoting ecological habits. If you’ve ever attended the festival or watch it on TV, it is unlikely that you will not see a flag or banner for Greenpeace. Greenpeace is a non-governmental organisation campaigning to keep our planet greener and more equal. There are also many other companies similar to Greenpeace, that Glastonbury Festival works with and help to promote. This year for the first time, Glastonbury Festival has banned single-use plastic bottles from being sold as part of their effort to combat plastic pollution. They will also no longer be supplied or available in any of the Festival’s backstage, production, catering and dressing areas. Over one million bottles of water were sold at 2017’s festival. By removing plastic bottles, this saves a potentially higher amount of bottles being sold at the festival and being sent to landfill. Co-organiser of Glastonbury Festival, Emily Eavis, commented on the plastic ban: “It’s paramount for our planet that we all reduce our plastic consumption, and I’m thrilled that, together, we’ll be able to prevent over a million single-use plastic bottles from being used at this year’s Festival. I really hope that everyone – from ticket-holder to headliner – will leave Worthy Farm this year knowing that even small, everyday changes can make a real difference. It’s now or never.”
How did people drink water at the festival?
Drinking water is essential at a music festival, as dancing all day and the hot weather can leave you dehydrated. It is also vitally important to have drinking water available at your tent. Without having plastic bottles, you may be confused about how people actually drank water at the festival. On Glastonbury’s website, the festival organisers advised people to bring their own reusable bottles to the festival and offered free drinking water for festival-goers. Many people at festivals accidentally lost plastic bottles that they have bought and buy another one, this cause plastic waste to be left on the festival site. With hundreds of festival-goers on the field, the waste produced from plastic bottles increases. By bringing your own bottle, people will be more wary of losing their bottle.
If people wish to buy water at the festival, then they can just like they have any year before, however it will be sold in an aluminium can rather than a bottle. So people can get easier access to drinking water, the festival will also now be tripling the number of water kiosks providing free water and all of the bars will also be providing free water. This way, with reusable bottles or containers, it will be easier than ever to get a free refill. At the festival, you are also able to purchase a refillable aluminium pint glass for drinking water, soft drinks, or any drink that you wish to use it for. Aluminium is a material that is easy to recycle and has many different purposes. It is one of the most recycled and easiest to recycle materials in the world. In the USA, 75% of all aluminium that is produced is still in use today. Even if the aluminium that is purchased at Glastonbury is wasted, it can still easily be reused or recycled. As people will also own the aluminium pint glass, it is unlikely that they will waste what they now possess.
Is it just plastic bottles that were banned?
It is not just plastic bottles that are banned from being distributed at the festival. The festival will neither supply any food/drink disposable made from anything besides paper, card, wood, or leaves and must be fully compostable. The disposables include knives and forks, plates, takeaway boxes, and even hot drink lids. Sauce and sugar sachets are also included in this. While you are encouraged not to bring in plastic, you are still allowed to bring it into the festival.
Facts about Plastic Bottle Pollution
In the UK, 7.5 billion plastic bottles are recycled each year, while 5.5 billion end up in our landfills. Although it is excellent to see the larger sum is being recycled, more plastic bottles need to be recycled to reduce pollution. Plastic is one of the number one causes for the overfilling of landfills and the pollution of our air and seas, however, many people continue to not take any action. When you next use a plastic bottle or somebody that you know is using a plastic bottle, please ensure that you or they recycle the bottle once they have used it.
Another massive negative of plastic bottles is that many of them end up in the sea. It is estimated that 8 millions pieces of plastic end up in the ocean each day. Plastic in the sea is extremely damaging to ocean wildlife. Recent studies revealed plastic pollution in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals, and 40% of seabird species. Plastic has also been commonly found in the carcasses of beached whales and has assumed to be the cause of the whale’s death. Plastic is slowly destroying our marine life and life on our lands. It is important that plastic pollution and recycling is taken seriously.
Ben works for the marketing team at 1st Choice Waste Management, he has a passion for marketing and helping businesses to grow.