With festival season in full swing, Brits can look forward to great music and fun in the sun,followed bya whole lot of rubbish.
Gargantuan rubbish clean-up operations are a sad aftermath of festival shenanigans – Glastonbury festival’s 2017 clean up infamously cost £785,000 and lasted six whole weeks.
From plastic beer cups, bottles and baby wipes to abandoned tents, chairs and clothing -tonnes of rubbish is left for organisers to clean up after festivals each year, much of which isn’t recycled properly.
Many blame the consumer obsession with packaged items on the influx in rubbish,and waste expert and founder of Junk Hunters Harsha Rathnayakebelieves more should be done to put alid on this growing problem:
“Festival rubbish is a problem that festival organisers and attendees need to take responsibility for. Action is needed straight away for this problem to reduce before it gets worse.
“From frequently stationed bins, to crowd waste collection incentives and recycling bags – more should definitely be done from an organisers point of view.
“Attendees need to be more mindful of their actions as well as enjoying themselves, just thinking ‘where will this end up?’ before throwing a cup on the floor or leaving tents and unwanted belongings when leaving can help with this and encourage people to look after the environment and take responsibility for their own waste.
“Working together is key to reducing this problem and targets should be set for waste reduction each year and new waste strategies implemented to see figures continue to fall.”
Here’s a list of what festival organisers and attendees could be doing to tackle the festival rubbish problem:
Festival organisers should give attendees incentives to collect their rubbish e.g. if they pick up a bag of plastic rubbish they will get a free pint or money off food.
2. Provide recycling and general waste bags to each tent
Provide a recycling and general waste bag to each tent so they can sort their own waste, ask that each tent hands them in at the end or leaves them at the site so organisers can collect bagged up rubbish.
3.Create waste sculptures
As a fun, interactive movement, task festival attendees with creating a waste sculpture – have someone on hand to keep an eye on it and take the lead, and afterwards it can be disposed of correctly.
4.Be entirely eco-friendly
Only use eco-friendly biodegradable reusable cups and plates – that way attendees will only have the option to be green and it will be better overall for the carbon footprint of the festival.
5. Frequent bin stations
Have recycling and general waste bins in busy areas of the festival grounds and ensure that bin attendants are on site to help attendees with disposal in the correct places.
6. Encourage attendees to take their belongings home
Festival operators can put an incentive in place if each camper takes their tent home – this will stop people leaving behind tents and deckchairs and it will also make people have more consideration for their stuff if they are planning on taking it home.